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Rod Stewart shares the secret to a perfect marriage

<p>Rod Stewart has shared the secret behind his 17-year marriage with Penny Lancaster, and how the couple continue to make their relationship work. </p> <p>Chatting candidly with <a href="https://www.hellomagazine.com/celebrities/704566/rod-stewart-penny-lancaster-secret-to-their-happy-marriage/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Hello!</em></a> magazine, Stewart, 79, and Lancaster, 53, shared their ultimate secret to a happy and prosperous marriage.</p> <p>"We love life and make date nights for one another, among touring and family time," the rockstar told the publication.</p> <p>"We listen to each other and try to resolve all our disagreements, the dirty laundry as Penny says, right away, and before we go to bed."</p> <p>After a career spanning 62 years, Stewart says he has no desire to slow down and stop performing, while his wife says she admires her husband's drive and work ethic. </p> <p>"He loves what he does so much and will never retire. He's a workaholic and constantly on the move," she said.</p> <p>Stewart went on to say that despite his love of performing, he has learned to balance work and family.</p> <p>"I used to be much more preoccupied with myself and my career. But I've learnt from my mistakes and am more present," he said.</p> <p>The couple first met when Lancaster when she was hired to photograph Stewart on a tour in the '90s.</p> <p>"When we first met, I got her phone number – I had just broken up. I gave it to the bass player … and he kept it for six months," Stewart said in a <a title="2015 interview" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POEc1TlDLSk" target="_blank" rel="noopener">2015 interview</a>.</p> <p>He eventually called her and they began dating for several years before marrying in Italy on June 16th 2007.</p> <p>The couple now share two children, Alastair, 18, and Aiden, 13.</p> <p><em>Image credits: SplashNews.com/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Relationships

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How much time should you spend sitting versus standing? New research reveals the perfect mix for optimal health

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christian-brakenridge-1295221">Christian Brakenridge</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/baker-heart-and-diabetes-institute-974">Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute</a></em></p> <p>People have a pretty intuitive sense of what is healthy – standing is better than sitting, exercise is great for overall health and getting <a href="https://theconversation.com/could-not-getting-enough-sleep-increase-your-risk-of-type-2-diabetes-225179">good sleep is imperative</a>.</p> <p>However, if exercise in the evening may disrupt our sleep, or make us feel the need to be more sedentary to recover, a key question emerges – what is the best way to balance our 24 hours to optimise our health?</p> <p><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-024-06145-0">Our research</a> attempted to answer this for risk factors for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. We found the optimal amount of sleep was 8.3 hours, while for light activity and moderate to vigorous activity, it was best to get 2.2 hours each.</p> <p><iframe id="dw4bx" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/dw4bx/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <h2>Finding the right balance</h2> <p>Current health guidelines recommend you stick to a <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/physical-activity-and-exercise-guidelines-for-all-australians/for-adults-18-to-64-years">sensible regime</a> of moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity 2.5–5 hours per week.</p> <p>However <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.02.031">mounting evidence</a> now <a href="https://doi.org/10.2337/dc14-2073">suggests</a> how you spend your day can have meaningful ramifications for your health. In addition to moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity, this means the time you spend sitting, standing, doing light physical activity (such as walking around your house or office) and sleeping.</p> <p>Our research looked at more than 2,000 adults who wore body sensors that could interpret their physical behaviours, for seven days. This gave us a sense of how they spent their average 24 hours.</p> <p>At the start of the study participants had their waist circumference, blood sugar and insulin sensitivity measured. The body sensor and assessment data was matched and analysed then tested against health risk markers — such as a heart disease and stroke risk score — to create a model.</p> <p>Using this model, we fed through thousands of permutations of 24 hours and found the ones with the estimated lowest associations with heart disease risk and blood-glucose levels. This created many optimal mixes of sitting, standing, light and moderate intensity activity.</p> <p>When we looked at waist circumference, blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and a heart disease and stroke risk score, we noted differing optimal time zones. Where those zones mutually overlapped was ascribed the optimal zone for heart disease and diabetes risk.</p> <h2>You’re doing more physical activity than you think</h2> <p>We found light-intensity physical activity (defined as walking less than 100 steps per minute) – such as walking to the water cooler, the bathroom, or strolling casually with friends – had strong associations with glucose control, and especially in people with type 2 diabetes. This light-intensity physical activity is likely accumulated intermittently throughout the day rather than being a purposeful bout of light exercise.</p> <p>Our experimental evidence shows that <a href="https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/39/6/964/29532/Benefits-for-Type-2-Diabetes-of-Interrupting">interrupting our sitting</a> regularly with light-physical activity (such as taking a 3–5 minute walk every hour) can improve our metabolism, especially so after lunch.</p> <p>While the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity time might seem a quite high, at more than 2 hours a day, we defined it as more than 100 steps per minute. This equates to a brisk walk.</p> <p>It should be noted that these findings are preliminary. This is the first study of heart disease and diabetes risk and the “optimal” 24 hours, and the results will need further confirmation with longer prospective studies.</p> <p>The data is also cross-sectional. This means that the estimates of time use are correlated with the disease risk factors, meaning it’s unclear whether how participants spent their time influences their risk factors or whether those risk factors influence how someone spends their time.</p> <h2>Australia’s adult physical activity guidelines need updating</h2> <p>Australia’s <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/physical-activity-and-exercise-guidelines-for-all-australians/for-adults-18-to-64-years">physical activity guidelines</a> currently only recommend exercise intensity and time. A <a href="https://www.uow.edu.au/media/2023/why-adults-need-to-move-more-stop-sitting-and-sleep-better-.php">new set of guidelines</a> are being developed to incorporate 24-hour movement. Soon Australians will be able to use these guidelines to examine their 24 hours and understand where they can make improvements.</p> <p>While our new research can inform the upcoming guidelines, we should keep in mind that the recommendations are like a north star: something to head towards to improve your health. In principle this means reducing sitting time where possible, increasing standing and light-intensity physical activity, increasing more vigorous intensity physical activity, and aiming for a healthy sleep of 7.5–9 hours per night.</p> <p>Beneficial changes could come in the form of reducing screen time in the evening or opting for an active commute over driving commute, or prioritising an earlier bed time over watching television in the evening.</p> <p>It’s also important to acknowledge these are recommendations for an able adult. We all have different considerations, and above all, movement should be fun.<!-- 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/228894/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/christian-brakenridge-1295221"><em>Christian Brakenridge</em></a><em>, Postdoctoral research fellow at Swinburne University, Centre for Urban Transitions, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/baker-heart-and-diabetes-institute-974">Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute</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/how-much-time-should-you-spend-sitting-versus-standing-new-research-reveals-the-perfect-mix-for-optimal-health-228894">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

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Julie Goodwin shares her top tips for perfect potatoes every time

<p dir="ltr">Who doesn't love a good, hearty, delicious serving of fluffy and decadent potatoes?</p> <p dir="ltr">Original <em>MasterChef Australia</em> champion Julie Goodwin has shared her ultimate hacks for cooking the perfect potatoes every time, whether they’re mashed, roasted or baked.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to Julie, there are three key things every home cook needs to keep in mind the next time potatoes are on the menu. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Make sure you have the right potatoes </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Depending on whether you want baked, mashed, roasted, or any other way you want to prepare your potatoes, it all starts in the supermarket. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I find that for things like mashed potatoes and gnocchi and rostis you want a floury potato, so the general rule is dirty potatoes for those things," Julie told <em><a href="https://kitchen.nine.com.au/latest/julie-goodwin-top-three-tips-to-cook-potatoes-robertson-potato-festival/4d16ba12-bf14-4af2-990e-dcf0e89c30ee">9Honey</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">"And then for stuff like potato salads, boiled baby potatoes, and potato bake, it's better to have a waxy potato because they hold their substance better. And those are the ones that are sold clean, so things like the Pontiac and Desiree with the pink skin or the washed potatoes with the white skin."</p> <p dir="ltr">"If you want to use them in an Irish stew to break down and thicken the sauce you've got to use a floury potato," she says. "So tend to your dirty ones."</p> <p dir="ltr">She says that if you're buying a clean, waxy potato, you won't have to peel them since the skin is supposed to be edible.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, if you're buying a dirty, floury potato, then you're going to want to peel the dirt off first and then wash off the residue.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Get those crispy edges </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">As every home cook knows, the key to the perfect roasted potato is for the inside to be soft and fluffy while the outside stays crispy. </p> <p dir="ltr">It can be a tricky balance to master, but Goodwin says there's a simple way to get it right every time.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I like to par boil them before I roast them. Just so that they go a bit fluffy around the edges," she explains. "What happens is those bits go really crispy and lovely."</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Let the flavour flow </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">When it comes to seasoning your potatoes, it's hard to know what flavours will suit your dish best. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to Goodwin, more is less when you season potatoes, so it's best to close the spice cabinet.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Salt is absolutely the number one, pepper's beautiful [but] it depends on what the meal is," she says. "So if you're doing a bit of a Portuguese or Spanish inspired meal you might put some paprika on there.”</p> <p dir="ltr">"But I really love rosemary and that's beautiful if you pound that up with your salt and put it on the potatoes that makes it really nice."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Pilot pitches in to free passenger stuck in plane bathroom

<p>A pilot has been forced to abandon his post at the cockpit to rescue a passenger trapped in the bathroom of a plane. </p> <p>While onboard a Delta Airlines flight from Salt Lake City to New Orleans, a father of two named Brent became stuck in the bathroom for 35 minutes during the short domestic flight. </p> <p>When it was discovered that Brent was not breaking out of the bathroom by himself, the cabin crew, including the pilot, stepped in to free the 34-year-old dad. </p> <p>After being refused a refund by the airline's customer service, Brent's dissatisfied partner shared a video of the moment the staff all rallied to heave the door open. </p> <p>Recounting the tale on Reddit, the woman suggested that her husband had fled to the bathroom to have a break from his two young kids. </p> <p>She wrote, "After 5 minutes, I wondered what was going on. Was he using this time as a much-needed break from my children’s whiney demands and frequent tantrums? I didn’t blame him."</p> <p>Brent's partner went on to explain that it wasn't until she heard another passenger say the word "stuck" did she realise her husband's predicament. </p> <p>She turned around to see two members of the crew yanking at the door to the rear cubicle as she watched on while she kept one eye on her young kids. </p> <p>The flight attendants enlisted the help of a male passenger who also failed to provide the magic touch, before the pilot emerged, 20 minutes into the ordeal, to have a go.</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZWOyr4J2OBo?si=FSdSkXFv4WlClKXB" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <aside> <p>"It wasn't until Brent kicked the hell out of the door while the pilot was pulling as hard as possible that Brent finally made his escape," she wrote. </p> <p>Finishing off the post, the woman concluded that Delta asked her not to share the footage, filmed by another passenger who was closer to the end of the plane, but after not receiving a refund for their "terrible" journey, the mother decided to post them online. </p> <p>The post racked up hundreds of comments, with many people actually siding with the airline for not issuing a refund, suggesting that the author's response was not proportionate to what actually happened. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Reddit</em></p> </aside>

Travel Trouble

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How to make the perfect pavlova, according to chemistry experts

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nathan-kilah-599082">Nathan Kilah</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chloe-taylor-1400788">Chloe Taylor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p>The pavlova is a summer icon; just a few simple ingredients can be transformed into a beautifully flavoured and textured dessert.</p> <p>But despite its simplicity, there’s a surprising amount of chemistry involved in making a pavlova. Knowing what’s happening in each step is a sure-fire way to make yours a success.</p> <p>So exactly what does it take to make the perfect pavlova? Let us break it down for you.</p> <h2>Egg whites</h2> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/eight-cracking-facts-about-eggs-150797">Egg white</a> is basically a mixture of proteins in water. Two of these proteins, ovalbumin and ovomucin, are the key to forming a perfect foamy meringue mixture.</p> <p>Whipping the egg whites agitates the proteins and disrupts their structure, causing them to unfold so the protein’s interior surface is exposed, in a process <a href="https://theconversation.com/sunny-side-up-can-you-really-fry-an-egg-on-the-footpath-on-a-hot-day-172616">known as denaturing</a>. These surfaces then join with one another to trap air bubbles and turn into a stable foam.</p> <p>Egg yolk must be completely removed for this process to work. Yolk is mostly made of fat molecules, which would destabilise the protein network and pop the air bubbles. It only takes a trace amount of fat, or even just a greasy bowl, to disrupt foam formation.</p> <p>You should always whip your egg whites in a clean glass or metal bowl. Plastic bowls are more likely to hold leftover grease.</p> <h2>Sugar</h2> <p>A traditional pavlova uses sugar – a lot of it – to provide texture and flavour. The ratio of sugar to egg white will differ between recipes.</p> <p>The first thing to remember is that adding more sugar will give you a drier and crispier texture, whereas less sugar will lead to a softer and chewier pavlova that won’t keep as long.</p> <p>The second thing is the size of the sugar crystals. The larger they are, the longer they’ll need to be whipped to dissolve, and the greater the chance you will overwork the proteins in your meringue. Powdered icing sugar (not icing mixture) is preferable to caster or granulated sugar.</p> <p>If you do happen to overbeat your meringue (which may end up looking clumpy and watery) you can try to save it by adding another egg white.</p> <h2>Acid</h2> <p>Many pavlova recipes call for adding cream of tartar or vinegar. Cream of tartar is also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate, which you may have seen in the form of crystals at the <a href="https://theconversation.com/louis-pasteurs-scientific-discoveries-in-the-19th-century-revolutionized-medicine-and-continue-to-save-the-lives-of-millions-today-191395">bottom of a wine glass</a>.</p> <p>These acids act as a stabilising agent for the meringue by aiding in the unfolding of the egg white proteins. More isn’t always better, though. Using too much stabiliser can affect the taste and texture, so use it sparingly.</p> <h2>Heat</h2> <p>Cooking a pavlova requires a very slow oven for specific chemical reasons. Namely, egg white proteins gel at temperatures above 60°C, setting the meringue.</p> <p>At higher temperatures a chemical reaction known as the <a href="https://theconversation.com/kitchen-science-from-sizzling-brisket-to-fresh-baked-bread-the-chemical-reaction-that-makes-our-favourite-foods-taste-so-good-58577">Maillard reaction</a> takes place in which proteins and sugars react to form new flavourful compounds. We can thank the Maillard reaction for many delicious foods including <a href="https://theconversation.com/brewing-a-great-cup-of-coffee-depends-on-chemistry-and-physics-84473">roasted coffee</a>, toast and <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-makes-smoky-charred-barbecue-taste-so-good-the-chemistry-of-cooking-over-an-open-flame-184206">seared steak</a>.</p> <p>However, excessive Maillard reactions are undesirable for a pavlova. An oven that’s too hot will turn your meringue brown and give it a “caramelised” flavour. Recipes calling for pavlova to be left in the oven overnight may actually overcook it.</p> <p>At the same time, you don’t want to accidentally undercook your pavlova – especially since uncooked eggs are often responsible for <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-avoid-food-borne-illness-a-nutritionist-explains-153185">food poisoning</a>. To kill dangerous bacteria, including salmonella, the pavlova’s spongy centre must reach <a href="https://foodsafety.asn.au/eggs/">temperatures above 72°C</a>.</p> <p>An alternative is to use pasteurised egg whites, which are briefly heated to a very high temperature to kill any pathogens. But this processing may also affect the egg white’s whippability.</p> <h2>Substitute ingredients</h2> <p>People love pavlova, and nobody should have to miss out. Luckily they don’t have to.</p> <p>If you want to <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-taste-for-sweet-an-anthropologist-explains-the-evolutionary-origins-of-why-youre-programmed-to-love-sugar-173197">limit your sugar intake</a>, you can make your meringue using sweeteners such as <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-the-difference-between-sugar-other-natural-sweeteners-and-artificial-sweeteners-a-food-chemist-explains-sweet-science-172571">powdered erythritol or monk fruit</a>. But, if you do, you may want to add some extra stabiliser such as cornflour, arrowroot starch, or a pinch of xanthan gum to maintain the classic texture.</p> <p>Also, if you want a vegan pavlova, you can turn to the chickpea instead of the chicken! <a href="https://review.jove.com/t/56305/composition-properties-aquafaba-water-recovered-from-commercially">Aquafaba</a> – the water collected from tinned or soaked beans – contains proteins and carbohydrates that give it emulsifying, foaming and even thickening properties. Egg-free pavlova recipes typically replace one egg white with about two tablespoons of aquafaba.</p> <p>And for those of you who don’t do gluten, pavlova can easily be made <a href="https://theconversation.com/gluten-free-diet-is-expensive-socially-challenging-for-those-with-celiac-disease-and-wheat-allergy-155861">gluten-free</a> by using certain stabilising agents.</p> <p>All that’s left is to get creative with your toppings and decide what to do with those leftover yolks!<!-- 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/196485/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/nathan-kilah-599082"><em>Nathan Kilah</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chloe-taylor-1400788">Chloe Taylor</a>, Research Fellow - PhD candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</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/how-to-make-the-perfect-pavlova-according-to-chemistry-experts-196485">original article</a>.</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Pitch to ditch the King from Aussie coins

<p>Bob Katter is calling for a major overhaul of Australian coins, saying King Charles' image should be scrapped from the currency. </p> <p>The federal MP touted an alternative design for the national coins, suggesting it could feature a Kalkadoon warrior or distinguished Australian soldier Ralph Honner.</p> <p>“Surely you’d put Kokoda hero Ralph Honner on your coin, not some British monarch, demonstrating that you don’t believe that all people are born free and equal and that you don’t believe you’re a separate country, that you’re a nationalistic Australian,” Katter said on Monday.</p> <p>The Queensland MP plans to move an amendment to the Crown References Amendment Bill to omit references to the monarchy and substitute the words “sovereign people of Australia”.</p> <p>“For heaven’s sake, get rid of the affirmation that we believe that all people are free and equal,” Katter said.</p> <p>“If you’ve got a monarch on your coin, you do not believe that all people are free and equal.”</p> <p>Katter's pitch comes just weeks after the Royal Australian Mint last month unveiled the effigy of King Charles III, which will be seen on Australian coins by Christmas.</p> <p>For decades, the country’s coins have carried an image of Queen Elizabeth II, who died in 2022.</p> <p>The Royal Mint also recently announced the production of a <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/new-commemorative-queen-coin-worth-serious-cash" target="_blank" rel="noopener">commemorative coin</a> in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth, which is already in high demand among royal fans and avid coin collectors. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Aussie shopper sparks outrage over "boomer hour" pitch at supermarkets

<p>A frustrated Aussie shopper has called for major supermarkets to implement a dedicated "boomer hour" for seniors to do their groceries. </p> <p>The shopper, from Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, caused an uproar after posting on Facebook saying that elderly customers should be "more mindful of time-poor workers and busy parents".</p> <p>The person went on to write that senior shoppers often take up too much space in the aisles to stop and socialise, making it "inconvenient" for other shoppers in a rush.</p> <p>The divisive post attracted a lot of attention, with many younger shoppers flocking to the comments to back the controversial idea. </p> <p>One person said older shoppers should save their socialising for the cafe or park like “every other normal person”.</p> <p>“This means not using the entire width of supermarket aisles as a catch-up spot to discuss what cruise Bazza’s on, or how the tenants in Jenny’s 13th investment property are really grinding her gears because they want the aircon fixed before summer. Not at 5pm on a weekday.”</p> <p>Despite some support for the idea, consumer behaviour analyst Barry Urquhart branded the idea as "ageism personified".</p> <p>"It won't work because they are a primary driver of the marketplace at the moment," he told <em>Seven News</em>.</p> <p>"At a time where the cost of living and the cost of doing business is acute, you can't turn and marginalise any consumer group."</p> <p>"This is ageism personified. People are wanting to say 'let's marginalise the older people, let's make them invisible'' and they're saying 'no we're asserting ourselves in tourism, hospitality, flight purchases at large'," he said.</p> <p>"Follow the money and the money in Australia at the moment is for people aged 50 years of age and older because they've got less mortgage, more discretionary purchases and are spending it."</p> <p>Urquhart went on to tell <a href="https://www.3aw.com.au/frustrated-shoppers-call-for-boomer-hours-in-supermarkets/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>3AW</em></a> radio that the measures would be impractical for businesses and senior shoppers. </p> <p>He said, “Trying to group boomers into one group … it’s not possible.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Retirement Life

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How to make a perfect romcom – an expert explains the recipe for romance

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christina-wilkins-1454385">Christina Wilkins</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-birmingham-1138">University of Birmingham</a></em></p> <p>Picture the scene: it’s a dreary weeknight evening, you’re tired from work, and you want to watch something that will pick you up. My guess is that some of you – perhaps more than would admit it – would pick a romantic comedy.</p> <p>Over the years the romcom has been designated as “chick flick”, dismissed at awards ceremonies (the best picture Oscar primarily goes to <a href="https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/movie-genres-perform-best-oscars-2179/">drama films</a>) and frequently panned by critics. Yet, critics are not the only ones buying cinema tickets or watching streaming services.</p> <p>A 2013 <a href="https://archive.nytimes.com/economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/reviewing-the-movies-audiences-vs-critics/">article</a> from the New York Times found that the romcom was one of the genres most likely to divide audience and critical opinion. Like many other things that are classified as “women’s things”, the romcom is often spoken of as a “guilty pleasure”.</p> <p>Researchers such as Claire Mortimer, who <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Romantic-Comedy/Mortimer/p/book/9780415548632">writes about comedy</a> and women, argue that the dismissal is not just down to the genre’s <a href="https://stjohnslis.libguides.com/c.php?g=1277106&amp;p=9378728">status as “women’s films”</a> but also because romcoms are genre films. Such films are often seen as repetitive – they rely on a number of tropes to be wheeled out again and again and we come to expect certain styles, stories and characters. Some films become key examples of a genre, a kind of “best of”, and form a template which the others either imitate or diverge from.</p> <p>That’s not to say that all romcoms are the same. But there’s a dominant form that we think of as being definitive, called the “neo-traditional romcom”. Tamar McDonald, a professor in film, <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9Bk-mkvdPYcC&amp;printsec=copyright&amp;redir_esc=y#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">argues that</a> this is the main form of the genre now – one that “has no use for realism”.</p> <p>This can be seen in characters running through airports, the absurd lack of communication between love interests and the convenient mishaps. Without these elements though, the resolution wouldn’t be as sweet.</p> <h2>The perfect romcom</h2> <p>So what are the ingredients for a perfect romcom? Looking at the lists of the <a href="https://www.timeout.com/film/the-70-best-romcoms-of-all-time">best romcoms of all time</a> – which the internet <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/08/best-romantic-comedies-list">isn’t short of</a> – we see similar tropes popping up repeatedly. One popular favourite, <a href="https://www.timeout.com/film/the-70-best-romcoms-of-all-time">When Harry Met Sally</a> (1989), features the “friends to lovers” storyline. This reoccurs in more recent films like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHBcWHY9lN4">Always Be My Maybe</a> (2019).</p> <p>Within a romcom, there typically has to be miscommunication – and lots of it. Although a relationship can blossom steadily, often unknown to the characters themselves, romcoms usually feature a pivotal moment where one character is not understood by the person they want.</p> <p>This miscommunication is also underpinned by conflict. Leger Grindon, an expert <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_Hollywood_Romantic_Comedy/okkZPTEnYqMC?hl=en&amp;gbpv=1&amp;dq=Leger+Grindon+rom+coms&amp;printsec=frontcover%22%22">in romantic comedies</a>, breaks these kinds of conflict into three major fields: between parents and children, the two characters who are dating, or when someone has to choose between personal development and sacrifice.</p> <p>We’ve seen examples of all of three over the years. Children defying their parents’ wishes to be with someone they love is a common theme in the queer love story, like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h58HkQV1gHY">Happiest Season</a> (2020), but is also present in other films, like My <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2mecmDFE-Q">Big Fat Greek Wedding</a> (2002).</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O2mecmDFE-Q?wmode=transparent&amp;start=19" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">My Big Fat Greek Wedding hinges on conflict between family and love.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>Conflict between the needs of the love interests can be seen in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZKAA5DRF4A">What Women Want</a> (2000). And the conflict between personal development and sacrifice has been a common theme of many recent Netflix romcoms such as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX6wAGuIMCg">Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between</a> (2022) or <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km7gv28_uX0">The Holiday Calendar</a> (2019). In Hallmark Christmas films (their own sub-genre of the romcom) like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWKYnKGN8OA">Just In Time for Christmas</a> (2015), women often have to choose between their career and their relationship, a common recurrence for the Christmas sub-genre especially.</p> <p>Romcoms can provide escapism, but at their heart the glue of the genre is finding connection through love and laughter. How realistic this is may be shifting, with more recent examples in film and television providing more cultural critique (see comedian Rose Matafeo’s brilliant <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtHC1VmrNXM">Starstruck</a> series, streaming on BBC Three for example).</p> <p>The parameters for the characters of these stories are also changing. Once predominantly white and straight, the genre is opening up to a range of different stories. Recent examples like <a href="https://theconversation.com/red-white-and-royal-blue-review-this-queer-romcom-puts-a-new-spin-on-the-us-and-uks-special-relationship-211533">Red, White, and Royal Blue</a> (2023) and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9731598/">Bros</a> (2022) put gay male romance front and centre, while <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt15893750/">Rye Lane</a> (2023) and <a href="https://theconversation.com/crazy-rich-asians-a-movie-and-a-movement-101568">Crazy Rich Asians</a> (2018) foreground non-white protagonists.</p> <p>Perhaps this is because – as <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Romantic-Comedy/Mortimer/p/book/9780415548632">Mortimer</a> argues – the genre is concerned with “perennial themes” of love and identity. In a moment where definitions and understandings of identity are shifting, the romcom provides an ideal place to think through these issues in a comforting way. Or perhaps we just need the optimism we associate with the genre at a time of war and economic crisis.</p> <p>Although there may be classics and new challengers emerging for the title of the best, the perfect romcom is one that shows that, despite all the challenges life may throw at us, there is sometimes a happy ending.</p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christina-wilkins-1454385">Christina Wilkins</a>, Lecturer in Film and Creative Writing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-birmingham-1138">University of Birmingham</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/how-to-make-a-perfect-romcom-an-expert-explains-the-recipe-for-romance-212487">original article</a>.</em></p>

Movies

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It was written for nuclear disarmament – but today You’re The Voice is the perfect song for the ‘yes’ campaign

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-tregear-825">Peter Tregear</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>The serendipity of the pairing between John Farnham’s 1986 hit single You’re the Voice and the Voice to Parliament referendum is obvious, but it goes well beyond the fact the two share the key word “voice”.</p> <p>The original was composed by a team of British songwriters in response to an anti-nuclear demonstration in London’s Hyde Park in 1985. Chris Thompson, Andy Qunta and Maggie Ryder had planned a song-writing session on the day an <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1985/10/27/world/100000-in-london-protest-arms-race.html">estimated 100,000 marched through central London</a> in support the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.</p> <p>Thompson, however, overslept. As an act of self-admonishment he decided to express his remorse by conceiving a song that emphasised the importance of personal agency in achieving political change.</p> <p>This is the kernel of meaning in You’re the Voice. It is also what makes it so especially well suited to support a campaign about a referendum to give Indigenous Australians a constitutionally recognised Voice to Parliament nearly 40 years later.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">OUR NEW AD IS LIVE!</p> <p>You’re the Voice that will make history.</p> <p>On 14 October, we know we all can stand together with the power to be powerful.<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HistoryIsCalling?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HistoryIsCalling</a>, so <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VoteYes?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VoteYes</a>. Are you in? John Farnham is.<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UluruStatement?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UluruStatement</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StayTrue2Uluru?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StayTrue2Uluru</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YoureTheVoice?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#YoureTheVoice</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VoteYes?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VoteYes</a> <a href="https://t.co/4ujYd9gk0M">pic.twitter.com/4ujYd9gk0M</a></p> <p>— ulurustatement (@ulurustatement) <a href="https://twitter.com/ulurustatement/status/1698260272165875951?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 3, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <h2>The grain of Farnham’s voice</h2> <p>Thompson was not at all convinced at the time Farnham <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/why-john-farnham-was-nearly-rockblocked-from-youre-the-voice/news-story/9e048f2d4550a8b4c1a28e2eba4909f6">could do the song justice</a> when he requested it for inclusion in his album Whispering Jack.</p> <p>And yet the particular qualities of Farnham’s singing is also arguably crucial to the song’s success, then and now.</p> <p>The music’s combination of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentimental_ballad#Power_ballads">power ballad</a> tempo with <a href="https://music.amazon.com.au/playlists/B078H6J6BF">pub anthem</a> singability calls for a kind of full-throated vocal performance that takes more than a little inspiration from African American gospel traditions.</p> <p>Singers drawn from these traditions include giants of popular musical culture like James Brown, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. It is not exaggerated praise to suggest Farnham here delivers a performance that stands with their best.</p> <p>And it was career changing for him, helping Farnham to put to rest his earlier image as a clean-cut purveyor of sentimental pop songs like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0c55lXRAeg">Sadie the Cleaning Lady</a> and relaunch his career.</p> <p>Farnham’s singing here exemplifies what Roland Barthes famously described in <a href="https://courses.lsa.umich.edu/jptw/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2017/08/Barthes-ImageMusicText.pdf">an essay from 1972</a> as the “grain of the voice”: the element of a singer’s individuality which helps convey the sincerity and authenticity of what is being sung.</p> <p>You’re the Voice further highlights the grain of Farnham’s singing via the exclamation “oh, whoa!” regularly punctuating the song’s chorus. In a powerful moment of sonic symbolism, the exclamation is eventually taken up in the advertisement (like the sentiment of the song itself, it is no doubt hoped) by a chorus of supporters.</p> <h2><em>You</em> are the voice</h2> <p>Indeed, if it is to succeed, the referendum will need to convince an especially broad coalition of Australians to vote for “yes”.</p> <p>The song supports this goal from its very title: <em>you</em> are the voice. It asks each of us, individually, to consider how we can act for the common good.</p> <blockquote> <p>We have the chance to turn the pages over <br />We can write what we want to write <br />We gotta make ends meet, before we get much older.</p> </blockquote> <p>The song’s explicit call to action has now been connected to the forthcoming referendum: now is the moment to use your voice at the ballot box to give, in turn, a constitutionally enshrined voice to indigenous Australians.</p> <p>The “yes” campaign’s appeal to collective responsibility is one aspect of the referendum process that <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/aug/16/lidia-thorpe-calls-for-referendum-called-off-indigenous-voice-to-parliament-no-campaign">concerns some Indigenous critics</a>. The very enterprise of constitutional reform, after all, presumes the legitimacy of the Australian constitution which in turn presumes the legitimacy of the original act of colonial dispossession.</p> <p>But the bigger threat to the “yes” campaign arguably comes from those who see the idea of an <a href="https://ipa.org.au/ipa-today/the-indigenous-voice-to-parliament-has-the-potential-to-be-divisive">Indigenous voice to parliament itself as divisive</a>.</p> <p>Yet, as the song goes:</p> <blockquote> <p>This time, we know we all can stand together <br />With the power to be powerful <br />Believing we can make it better.</p> </blockquote> <p>The use of You’re the Voice here reinforces the view that supporting the Voice to Parliament is a positive act of national reconciliation that we, as a nation, can take together.</p> <p>It is an injunction to take personal and collective responsibility for the history and character of the country we all share.</p> <h2>Politically inclusive</h2> <p>The advertisement is the work of Mark Green of <a href="https://themonkeys.com.au/">The Monkeys advertising agency</a> and historian <a href="https://www.clarewright.com.au/">Clare Wright</a>.</p> <p>It focuses on a family as they watch key moments which shaped Australia’s collective identity. It looks at key moments of reconciliation, Indigenous achievement and Indigenous protest; but also broader moments in collective action.</p> <p>In a particularly astute move, the advertisement overlays images of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/01/john-howard-port-arthur-gun-control-1996-cabinet-papers">John Howard’s 1996 gun reforms</a> in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre as Farnham delivers the lines:</p> <blockquote> <p>We’re all someone’s daughter<br />We’re all someone’s son<br />How long can we look at each other<br />Down the barrel of a gun?</p> </blockquote> <p>Implicit in this conjunction is a reminder to us that support for the “yes” vote, like any nation-changing political act, can come from any side of politics.</p> <h2>Democratising the message</h2> <p>There are many more layers we could tease apart in You’re The Voice. Its extended bagpipes solo originated as an homage to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, connecting it to the egalitarian, <a href="https://www.popmatters.com/141796-let-there-be-rock-2496022409.html">working class culture</a> Scott’s music addresses.</p> <p>Then there is the way the bagpipes, combined with the song’s use of side-drum rhythmic patterns, evoke the sound world of a military tattoo or march. This simultaneously elevates the register of its message. The song – and now the ad – is an implicit call to arms.</p> <p>The inclusion of You’re the Voice in the “yes” campaign thus provides powerful support for its central message.</p> <p>Farnham himself recognises this. Upon release of the advertisement, Farnham <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/john-farnham-backs-voice-permits-his-anthem-to-front-yes-campaign-ad-20230901-p5e18t.html">spoke about</a> how, when it was first released in 1986, the song “changed his life”.</p> <p>Generously, he concluded: "I can only hope that now it might help in some small way, to change the lives of our First Nations Peoples for the better."</p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-tregear-825">Peter Tregear</a>, Principal Fellow and Professor of Music, <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/it-was-written-for-nuclear-disarmament-but-today-youre-the-voice-is-the-perfect-song-for-the-yes-campaign-212769">original article</a>.</em></p>

Music

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Kylie Minogue's most daring shoot in decades

<p>Our favourite Aussie pop sensation, Kylie Minogue, has decided to unleash her wild side and star in a daring new magazine shoot for <a href="https://www.theperfectmagazine.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Perfect Magazine</a>. And by daring, we mean she's flashing her world-famous derrière right there on the cover!</p> <p>Talk about making an entrance. But that's not even the half of it; in a series of alternative covers, Kylie is giving us a glimpse of her many personas. From a long black wig tied up to a bunch of balloons, to a dark brunette look that screams Angelina Jolie, she's serving us more transformations than a chameleon at a fashion show.</p> <p>The first cover has us all reminiscing about her iconic "Spinning Around" music video days, with those legendary gold hotpants that made jaws drop and temperatures rise. Oh, the memories!</p> <p>This comes after Kylie's big news that she's taking over Las Vegas with her very own residency at the Venetian Resort's swanky new Voltaire Nightclub. But before she jets off to Vegas, there's a new album on the horizon. Get ready for "Tension," her 16th studio album, hitting the airwaves on September 22. She's already dropped a hit single from that album, "Padam Padam," and it's taking the world by storm. </p> <p>While Kylie's always had a devoted fanbase in Australia and the UK, she's decided it's time to conquer the US of A. She's been a bit of a hidden gem across the pond, but she's determined to shine bright like a disco ball and win over American hearts. Her 2001 album "Fever" was a massive success, but she's been flying under the radar lately.</p> <p>So, get ready, America – Kylie's bringing her Vegas extravaganza to selected weekends in November, December and January.</p> <p>In the end, whether she's flashing her famous derriere or conquering new territories, Kylie Minogue is proving she's still got the X-factor. We can't wait to see what she'll do next.</p> <p>Let's just hope she doesn't make her entrance with a bunch of balloons tied to her wig – that could be quite the showstopper!</p> <p><em>Images: Perfect Magazine</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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The 15 dog breeds perfect for first-time owners

<p><strong>First-time pup parent</strong></p> <p>Becoming a first-time dog owner is a truly rewarding experience. You’re gaining a new loyal best friend and have a wonderful adventure before you. That said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that the process also comes with some little curveballs as you learn the ropes of pup parenthood.</p> <p>In addition to the dog’s size – be it a toy breed, medium breed, or giant breed – it’s also important to consider the dog’s personality. For example, do you want a <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/pets/the-best-low-maintenance-dogs-for-busy-people" target="_blank" rel="noopener">low-maintenance dog</a> or a <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/pets/11-dog-breeds-that-can-be-left-alone" target="_blank" rel="noopener">dog breed that does well when left alone</a>? Or are you perhaps seeking the <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/pets/the-best-dog-breeds-for-kids" target="_blank" rel="noopener">best dog breeds for kids</a>?</p> <p>“When you are thinking about getting a dog for the first time, the first thing to ask yourself is what you envision your life with a dog looking like,” says Marissa Sunny, a canine behaviour specialist. “If you want a dog to get you out of the house and go running with, then a high-energy working breed may be for you! If you are looking for a Netflix buddy, then an adult or senior dog may be for you.” And while purebreds are wonderful, there are many mixed breeds available for adoption in your local shelters that make wonderful pets, even for first-time dog owners.</p> <p>To help you determine the best first dog for new owners – and avoid some of the worst dogs for first-time owners – we’re showcasing some of the most popular dog breeds that are easy to train, groom and bond with.</p> <p><strong>Bichon Frise</strong></p> <p>Known for its loving and playful personality, the Bichon Frise is an intelligent and charming lapdog who befriends just about everyone they meet. They are one of the best dogs for beginners since they’re typically easy to train and are great with kids.</p> <p>Another perk is that their fluffy white coat is hypoallergenic, making them ideal for those concerned about dog allergies. They do need to be bathed about once a month and benefit from a good brushing several times a week. A visit to the groomer every four to six weeks can also help keep them looking tip-top.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 4/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Golden retrievers </strong></p> <p>Arguably one of the easiest dog breeds for first-time owners, the golden retriever is one of the most beloved canines for good reason. This lovable pup is exceptionally friendly and devoted to its owners. They are also known for being obedient and easy to train, so teaching them to fetch, sit and stay is likely to be a breeze, which is one of the reasons many service dogs are golden retrievers.</p> <p>Perhaps most important, though, is their gregarious and outgoing personalities, which make them fantastic as first-time family dogs, as well. They benefit from a good brushing once a week and perhaps more during their twice-annual shedding spree.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 5/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Papillon</strong></p> <p>The papillon – which means butterfly in French – is another wee-sized pup weighing in at only 4.5kg tops. They are an affectionate dog breed and they also get along well with children. Though very small, this toy breed is surprisingly athletic and spritely and benefits greatly from playtime.</p> <p>One potential drawback is that they’re not too keen on hanging out with other animals. However, they are surprisingly easy to groom thanks to their lack of an undercoat. A good bath every few months and a once-monthly grooming session are all they need.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 4/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Labrador retriever </strong></p> <p>The Labrador retriever is another popular dog breed. They are most noted for their outgoing personality and friendly demeanour, and they are also one of the best-behaved dog breeds. These playful, easy-going pups – which come in chocolate, black, and yellow – are very sociable.</p> <p>This allows not only for easy bonding with the entire family but with other animals, too. Because they love to make their owners happy, labs are also one of the easiest dog breeds to train. Occasional baths and brushing are all this dog needs to keep it looking its best.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 5/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Cavalier King Charles spaniel </strong></p> <p>A sweet combination of a small toy breed and spaniel, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a gentle, graceful, athletic and high-spirited little pup. They make our list of the best first dogs for new owners because of their adaptability and smarts, which make them both easy to get along with and train. These unfailingly sweet pups are also keen on pleasing their humans, making them excellent for a broad ranch of owners, including couples, families, seniors, and individuals.</p> <p>They are also known for being effective therapy dogs, too. They do require a little more grooming than other pups on our list and need daily brushing, weekly ear-checks, and monthly nail trims.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 4/5 </em></span></p> <p><strong>German shepherd</strong></p> <p>The noble German shepherd is an excellent dog for first-time owners for many reasons. For starters, they are exceptionally smart pups that are easy to train, which is one reason why they are utilised in K-9 units.</p> <p>Second, they are gentle with their owners and unfailingly loyal – to the end that they make great watchdogs. Finally, German shepherds are easy to groom. The AKC says they benefit from brushing a few times a week to remove loose hairs and that they only need occasional baths.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 5/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Standard poodle</strong></p> <p>Recognised for their fluffy, pillow-like hypoallergenic coats, the poodle is a notably smart and athletic family companion. Because of these positive qualities, poodles have been bred with many other breeds to get designer breeds including the labradoodle, groodle, spoodle, and cavoodle.</p> <p>Do note that as puppies, poodles can be high-energy, so they’ll need to be able to run off that steam. They also should be brushed daily and professionally groomed about once every month or two to combat matting and keep their coats lustrous.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 4/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Basenji</strong></p> <p>You might not be too familiar with the Basenji, but this smart and adaptable quiet dog breed makes our list because of how easy-going and low-key it is. Some even describe this dog as “cat-like” in its independence and quiet demeanour. While it’s not overtly lovey-dovey like some breeds, the Basenji is perfect for first-time owners who tend to be gone often and prefer a pup that’s not always at their ankles.</p> <p>The AKC says their short coat is also simple to care for. Just give them a once-over every week or two – and no bathing required unless they get into something.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 4/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Yorkshire terrier</strong></p> <p>A truly petite-sized pup, the adorable Yorkie is a tiny terrier that weighs in at only seven pounds. Though tiny, they do have major personalities! This breed has a reputation for being brave, tenacious and sprightly. They are also exceptionally friendly.</p> <p>The breed’s long, low-allergen coat mimics human hair more than dog fur, making them one of the more popular dogs for those who deal with pet allergies. The trade-off is that their long hair does require daily brushing, weekly bathing and regular professional groomings.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 3/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Pugs</strong></p> <p>Survey any pug owner and they’ll likely be quick to tell you that this breed is one of the best family companions out there. The adaptable pug gets along with basically everyone – including kids, seniors and other animals – and thrives in both the city and country.</p> <p>Pugs also enjoy making their owners happy, which helps make training them a breeze. Another bonus: their coat is considered low maintenance and only needs weekly brushing to control light shedding.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 5/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Whippet</strong></p> <p>Don’t confuse the whippet for a greyhound! Though they do look similar, the whippet is its own breed (and actually quite a bit smaller). This lean and elegant pup is a lightning-quick runner that enjoys having a good chase in the backyard. As long as it’s getting plenty of exercise, this breed can fare well in an apartment or a house with a yard. Another perk is that these guys barely bark.</p> <p>Also, their short coat is very easy to care for and only requires weekly brushing and occasional baths. While smart, the whippet has a bit more of a mischievous personality that can be a little tricky to reign in when training.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 4/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Great Dane</strong></p> <p>Don’t be intimidated by the Great Dane’s mighty stature; this pup is a true gentle giant. This sweet-natured, patient, ultra-friendly pup bonds with its family owners quickly and remains loyal through and through – they’re even great with children. However gentle, the Great Dane also makes for a courageous and vigilant watchdog as well.</p> <p>Regarding training, this breed does benefit from professional obedience training in order to harness its full potential. They also should be brushed weekly, bathed occasionally, and have their nails trimmed monthly.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 3/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Irish setter</strong></p> <p>If you’re in the market for a lovable, friendly pup that’s perhaps not quite as well-known as other breeds, the Irish setter might just be your match. These sweet dogs get along with, and bond quickly, with everyone they meet – including kids, adults, seniors, and other animals.</p> <p>They do tend to be a bit on the rambunctious side, so a playful and active setting is ideal. They are also eager to please and respond well to patient training, notes the AKC. Moderate grooming is required, including twice-weekly brushing, monthly nail trims, and occasional baths.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 4/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Bernese mountain dog</strong></p> <p>The powerful and sweet-natured Bernese mountain dog is a family companion that will bring joy to any home. They’re on our list of the best dogs for beginners because they are easy to train, exceptionally patient with everyone (including kiddos), and get along easily with many personalities and even other animals.</p> <p>Their big size can be intimidating, but they’re big softies who love to stick close to their humans. In fact, they can be a little shy! Frequent shedding is more of an issue with this breed, and they require a good brushing two to three times a week.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: 4/5</em></span></p> <p><strong>Mixed breeds</strong></p> <p>We’ve included many purebreds on this list, but we don’t want to leave out mixed breeds and “mutts.” Though adoptable animals from the shelter can come with some specific needs, many will be forever grateful to have you as their owner.</p> <p>When seeking a pup to adopt, we recommend looking to their personalities – versus specific breed – to determine if they’re a fit for your lifestyle. “Your local shelter or rescue can help you find the perfect match for your family,” says Sunny.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Ease of care: varies</em></span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/pets/15-best-dogs-for-first-time-owners?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Family & Pets

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The soundtrack to selling: why advertising with popular music needs to be pitch perfect

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/morteza-abolhasani-1346513">Morteza Abolhasani</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-open-university-748">The Open University</a></em></p> <p>At some point today, it’s likely that you’ll listen to music. It may be during a commute or school run, while you do some exercise or take some time to relax. Music is all around us – an accessible and popular art form which <a href="https://online.ucpress.edu/mp/article-abstract/22/1/41/62190/Uses-of-Music-in-Everyday-Life?redirectedFrom=fulltext">accompanies our daily lives</a>.</p> <p>Advertisers have long understood the popularity and emotional power of music and used it to sell us things. Much time – and money – is spent on securing the right soundtrack to adverts in a bid to boost sales, such as when Microsoft <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/1999-05-23/sing-a-song-of-selling?leadSource=uverify%20wall">spent a reported US$3 million</a> (£2.4 million) to use The Rolling Stones’ song Start Me Up as part of their advertising campaign for Windows 95.</p> <p>So how do companies choose the right music for their product? And why is it such a valuable ingredient in the mission to make us consume?</p> <p>Research suggests that the specific qualities of music as an art form enhances the science of selling. As one researcher <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mar.4220010303">puts it</a>: “Music […] is the catalyst of advertising. It augments pictures and colours words, and often adds a form of energy available through no other source.”</p> <p>Other <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-531-18916-1_19">studies have shown</a> how music transports, underlines or amplifies the persuasive message of adverts. Used well, it creates memorable commercials which influence our attitudes to a product or service.</p> <p>Take the visually simple but <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6bGnSEwdKY">compelling advert</a> for Air France, with the soundtrack of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23. It projects grandeur and elegance, in the hope that viewers will associate those qualities with the airline.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J6bGnSEwdKY?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1470593117692021">My research</a>, which looked at hundreds of viewer comments about the music used in advertising, suggests it was successful. Air France’s use of a sophisticated piece of classical music created a direct perception of a sophisticated and premium airline.</p> <p>This is supported by other <a href="https://academic.oup.com/edited-volume/38632/chapter-abstract/335307151?redirectedFrom=fulltext">research</a> which suggests that music which matches the main message of an advert has a positive effect on consumer engagement. This alignment, known as “musical congruity”, can result in enhanced attention, a positive emotional response, and improved brand recall, ultimately enhancing the effectiveness of an advert.</p> <h2>Down memory lane</h2> <p>Music is also effective at triggering <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1470593114521451?journalCode=mtqa">feelings of nostalgia</a>. The extent to which music arouses emotional memories – “musical indexicality” – in adverts creates associations with consumers’ past experiences.</p> <p>The music for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NwBcCUh24I">an advert</a> for Old Navy inspired <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1470593117692021">positive comments</a> based on viewers’ memories. A good choice of music allows businesses to tap into this nostalgia for commercial benefit, and my <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1470593117692021">research suggests</a> that music with autobiographical resonance can be particularly effective.</p> <p>Another example of this is when <a href="https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=pink+moon+vw">Volkswagen used</a> Nick Drake’s <em>Pink Moon</em>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_-kqUkZnDcM?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>As one viewer commented: “Rarely do I get sentimental with commercials, but this one takes me back to the time when I was dating my wife and when we were first married. We used to take drives like this in the mountains and I remember looking at her beautiful face in the moonlight. The music is perfect. The sentiment is perfect.”</p> <p>(In this case, the 1999 advert also had a big impact on Nick Drake’s popularity, with album sales <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/nick-drake-pink-moon-song-volkwagen-commercial-182739/">dramatically increasing</a> after the advert’s release. Drake, who died at the age of 26, never saw commercial success in his lifetime.)</p> <h2>Commercial clash</h2> <p>But using music to advertise products doesn’t always work. For one thing, music can infiltrate the mind, repeat itself continuously and become extremely difficult to dislodge.</p> <p>This is why we can’t get some jingles out of our heads for ages. Involuntary and repetitive exposure to a piece of music can quickly reach the point of annoyance.</p> <p>The use of popular music in advertising can also provoke arguments around <a href="https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/currentmusicology/article/view/5206">the tensions</a> between artistic endeavour and commercialism. Some people believe a work of art should not be used for the pursuit of profit.</p> <p>In fact, the findings of my study on viewer comments showed that consumers sometimes passionately oppose the use of music by revered musicians being used in adverts, as they believe that doing this undermines its aesthetic integrity.</p> <p>For example, Nike’s use of the The Beatles’ song <em>Revolution</em> was seen by some as exploiting John Lennon’s lyrics to sell shoes. It made some Nike wearers so angry that they boycotted the brand.</p> <p>One wrote: “This is disgusting. Shame on Nike for exploiting priceless art. I will never buy another Nike shoe again.” Another said: “John didn’t mean change the brand of your trainers!”</p> <p>So advertisers need to be careful. For while the right choice of music can attract customers, boost sales, and inspire brand loyalty, the wrong choice can create something of a backlash. For many people, music is precious, and using it as a marketing tool does not always have harmonious results.<!-- 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/203856/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/morteza-abolhasani-1346513">Morteza Abolhasani</a>, Lecturer in Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-open-university-748">The Open University</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/the-soundtrack-to-selling-why-advertising-with-popular-music-needs-to-be-pitch-perfect-203856">original article</a>.</em></p>

Music

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Kendall Roy’s playlist: why hip hop is the perfect counterpoint for Succession’s entitled plutocrats

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/j-griffith-rollefson-952418">J. Griffith Rollefson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-college-cork-1321">University College Cork</a></em></p> <p>From the very first minutes of HBO’s hit drama series, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/succession-how-true-to-life-is-the-tv-series-170139">Succession</a></em>, hip hop is used to underpin, juxtapose and comment on the story of corporate intrigue, capitalist entitlement and white privilege.</p> <p>Just as a hip hop beat underscores the classical piano lines to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77PsqaWzwG0&amp;ab_channel=HBO">the show’s theme song</a> by composer Nicholas Britell, hip hop’s swaggering braggadocio acts as a counterpoint to the Roy family’s rarefied worlds of high finance and plutocratic untouchability.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3eTTkxM8QLE?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">The first scene of Succession’s pilot episode.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>Recalling the opening scene to <em>Office Space</em> (1999) – which begins knee-deep in cringey, white boy, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XASNM1XEQPs&amp;ab_channel=JoseHernandez">gangsta karaoke</a> – Succession’s first episode introduces wannabe-protagonist Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) with a similarly embarrassing set piece. The businessman is riding in the back of a limo, listening to <em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny6hwUOFvlw">An Open Letter to NYC</a></em> by the Beastie Boys, as the hustle and bustle of Manhattan rolls by.</p> <p>But when the backing track fades, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eTTkxM8QLE&amp;ab_channel=OpeningScenes">Kendall’s own voice is revealed</a>, thin and childish, rapping along to the lyrics about skyscrapers and Wall Street traders. This wannabe hip hop businessman persona is at the core of Kendall’s deeply conflicted character.</p> <p>This persona is in full bloom in a memorable season two episode, where Kendall performs L to the OG, a rap tribute to his father Logan Roy (Brian Cox), earning him the nickname “Ken.W.A.” from brother Roman (Kieran Culkin), a la the infamous Compton rap group NWA.</p> <p>As I explain in my book, <em><a href="https://criticalexcess.org/">Critical Excess: Watch the Throne and the New Gilded Age</a></em>, corporate board rooms and <a href="https://www.dukeupress.edu/the-real-hiphop">hip hop ciphers</a> are no longer as incompatible as they might seem. This is exemplified through American rap superstars Jay Z and Kanye West’s (now known as Ye) collaborative “<a href="https://genius.com/Jay-z-and-kanye-west-otis-lyrics">luxury rap</a>” album, <em>Watch the Throne</em> (2011).</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6dUDQTc-9kM?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Kendall rapping in season two of Succession.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>In season four, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNbfEC-AeHs&amp;ab_channel=ob9RJ2mJhoMPHH">Kendall listens</a> to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHiFMW8s6zk&amp;ab_channel=JAYZ-Topic">Jay Z’s <em>The Takeover</em></a> (2001) on his way to work in the ATN news studio. It’s not surprising that Jay Z is a favourite. The rapper-turned-entrepreneur once rapped the lines: “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!” in his verse on Ye’s <em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI0jNu-G5Hw&amp;ab_channel=KanyeWest-Topic">Diamonds from Sierra Leone</a></em> (2005), an attitude it’s easy to imagine Kendall aligning himself with.</p> <p>It’s also no coincidence that this dysfunctional family is named Roy, French for “king”, another link to Watch the Throne and the hustle to become “<a href="https://www.complex.com/music/2020/05/who-is-king-of-new-york">king of New York</a>”.</p> <p>Real-life media mogul family, the Murdochs, are widely believed to have <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/04/rupert-murdoch-cover-story">inspired <em>Succession</em></a>. But the hip hop connection is particularly uncanny. In 1995, Rupert Murdoch’s youngest son, James, bankrolled the hot new hip hop label Rawkus Records. Soon thereafter Murdoch’s News Corp bought a majority share in Rawkus and artists reportedly <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2011/jul/11/james-murdoch-hip-hop">started complaining about unpaid royalties</a>.</p> <h2>Hip hop as Kendall’s hype music</h2> <p>Rap music is <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/musimoviimag.2.1.0026">repeatedly used</a> to show Kendall’s need for a boost of confidence – a need once satisfied by <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9gIa3Xqycg">his substance abuse</a>.</p> <p>Hip hop pioneer <a href="https://www.allmusic.com/artist/krs-one-mn0000359119/biography">KRS-One</a> reportedly once likened hip hop to a “<a href="https://floodmagazine.com/42937/quelle-chris-being-you-is-great-i-wish-i-could-be-you-more-often/">confidence sandwich</a>” for its ability to help America’s forgotten underclasses find the strength to get up and fight the good fight, from enduring the daily grind to organising for a better world. But what happens when this swag burger is blaring in the ears of an out-of-touch CEO?</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GNbfEC-AeHs?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Kendall listening to Jay Z’s The Takeover.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>As the late, great Black music critic <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/176649/everything-but-the-burden-by-edited-by-greg-tate/">Greg Tate</a> suggests, hip hop has been a site of “the Elvis effect” for decades, with white artists and businessmen profiting mightily from Black creative cultures. This history stretches back to rock and roll, jazz, blues and beyond.</p> <p>The boost that hip hop gives him allows Kendall to do horrible things. This echoes the way hip hop group De La Soul describes so-called “crossover” music as a “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0X2h56qlG4&amp;ab_channel=DeLaSoulVEVO">double cross</a>” on their concept album <em>Buhloone Mindstate</em> (1993).</p> <p>As Kendall exemplifies again and again, when hip hop’s witty but often crass wordplay is decontextualised by white men, it almost always comes off as disrespectful frat boy voyeurism. Indeed, London rapper, Roots Manuva recently retweeted a nice <a href="https://twitter.com/TheWrongtom/status/1654768980828082177?s=20">case in point</a> on the eve of another high profile “succession” – King Charles III’s accession to the British throne.</p> <p>So while established rapper <a href="https://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/lectures/pusha-t">Pusha T</a> has recently collaborated with Britell on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF5IU-Pyn2A&amp;ab_channel=PushaTVEVO">a remix of <em>Succession</em>’s theme song</a> and while Jay and Ye continue to infiltrate the rarefied white spaces of corporate board rooms and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLmQ57mEGFs">seats of political power</a>, these relationships <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/176649/everything-but-the-burden-by-edited-by-greg-tate/">remain deeply asymmetrical</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/205773/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/j-griffith-rollefson-952418">J. Griffith Rollefson</a>, Professor of Music, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-college-cork-1321">University College Cork</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: HBO</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/kendall-roys-playlist-why-hip-hop-is-the-perfect-counterpoint-for-successions-entitled-plutocrats-205773">original article</a>.</em></p>

Music

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Picture perfect property hits the market

<p dir="ltr">Casa Campana, the “most Instagrammable” house in Australia, has returned to the market in search of a new owner.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Nunderi property, located between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay at <a href="https://www.domain.com.au/61-garden-avenue-nunderi-nsw-2484-2018539383">61 Garden Avenue</a>, comes equipped with more than just four walls and a roof - it also boasts a following of almost 20k on social media. </p> <p dir="ltr">And while no price has been listed for the stunning property, offers are likely to settle somewhere in the millions, as it last sold in mid-2022 for $3.3 million. </p> <p dir="ltr">The property has demanded attention for its picture perfect appearance, for savvy social media models to hire as a set, for engaged couples to lock in as the venue for their big day, and for people seeking the ultimate holiday-home-away–from-home. </p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the home’s popularity, it is a “verdant oasis of the utmost tranquillity and privacy”, according to its listing. </p> <p dir="ltr">Inspired by the Mediterranean lifestyle, it features “stylish surroundings, sublime interiors, and stunning backdrop that will be excitingly familiar to some” across 1.31ha.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Quietly unassuming from street level”, the white-on-white home is “set against a backdrop of lush rainforest” with a series of “curved edges, archways, whitewashed timber floors, and expanses of glass” to both draw the eye and “frame the outdoors in a living canvas to behold from every vantage point”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The bright and breezy property has an open floor plan, with living and entertaining areas throughout, with “abundant natural light” to spark the feeling of being part of the “laid-back hinterland lifestyle without compromise”.</p> <p dir="ltr">With four bedrooms, an entertainer’s kitchen and butler’s pantry, and a resort-style master suite with outdoor terrace, as well an entire second-level studio for work and wellness, Casa Campana is prepped for groups and families of all sizes.</p> <p dir="ltr">The fun doesn’t stop indoors, either, with “custom design and jaw-dropping features” in place to amaze outside. From an outdoor pool to an entertaining pavilion with an outdoor kitchen, pizza oven, and abundant seating, visitors can rest assured that they won’t be missing out on any of their home - and holiday - luxuries. </p> <p dir="ltr">And for anyone who might be looking to explore what lies beyond, the property is just 15 minutes from Cabarita Beach, 25 from the Gold Coast’s Coolangatta International Airport, and 40 from Byron Bay. </p> <p dir="ltr">And as the listing states, all of these features come together to create “the opportunity to truly live your best life!” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Real Estate

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Wes Anderson has an obsessive, systematic repetition of stylistic choices. He’s perfect for this TikTok meme

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alex-munt-1380279">Alex Munt</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Iconoclastic film director Wes Anderson <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdt0oam6O1o">says of his films</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>I always feel like any character from one of my movies could walk into another one of the movies and be at home there.</p> </blockquote> <p>With the premiere of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FXCSXuGTF4">Asteroid City</a> at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival next week, fans have been doing just that – walking themselves into faux Anderson movies.</p> <p>TikTokers are creatively “Wes-Andersonifying” their everyday lives: <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@keithafadi/video/7221582114880294150">at lunch</a>, <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@taramilktea/video/7226286920093977857?q=wes%20anderson%20challenge&amp;t=1683337148719">at the hotel pool</a> or <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@hilakleinh3/video/7225644281799691563?q=wes%20anderson%20challenge&amp;t=1683337148719">at the bookstore</a>. The TikToks are all set to a score by Alexandre Desplat from The French Dispatch (2021).</p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-855" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/855/b970b886fa15cd22f469e5441d15262ddaa1d2c8/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>It’s fun to see Anderson’s film style rolled out across diverse cultural and geographic borders. This syncs with the filmmaker’s affinity for global cinema. He draws inspiration from the films of Yasujirō Ozu, Satyajit Ray, Jean Renoir, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Jacques Rivette – to name just a few.</p> <p>For Tiktok’s Anderson fans, here’s a “<a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@andyyongfilms/video/7227440401572039938">How To</a>” by @andyyongfilms which shows a recipe for the film style: a title card (Futura font, with typewriter effect), symmetrical compositions, bright coloured or pastel outfits, retro props, an overhead shot plus a “<a href="https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/swish-pan-whip-pan-definition-film/">whip-pan</a>” camera movement. A few of the TikToks are highly polished, clearly from creators with a film education, such as <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@qmike/video/7223410519741418757">The British Dispatch</a>.</p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-856" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/856/3ed36e627f542ded4bb2f6244eb11b5a4b4a1626/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <h2>Reimagining a film style</h2> <p>The Anderson-inspired TikToks are playful ruminations on the question of “film style” today. Stanley Kubrick once said a film director is a “<a href="https://craigberry93.medium.com/stanley-kubrick-at-the-design-museum-4e79b3c11af9">taste machine</a>”, which Anderson revels in to excess.</p> <p>Symmetry within the frame is perhaps the most obvious element of the Anderson film style and one easy to replicate in the TikToks. With an obsessive devotion to staging scenes in symmetry, Anderson breaks the “<a href="https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-is-the-rule-of-thirds/">rule of thirds</a>” for visual composition. In contrast, he pins his actors dead centre as shown in this <a href="https://vimeo.com/89302848">video essay</a> by Kogonada.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/89302848" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Working with his regular cinematographer Robert Yeoman, Anderson uses planar compositions to create graphic cinema which shares an affinity with illustration and painting.</p> <p>His “planar” approach to staging means the camera remains perpendicular to the subject, which the rapid whip-pan camera movements maintain <em>within</em> a shot. Anderson stages his actors across the frame – like garments on a clothesline – and in depth. You can see this in the image from Asteroid City above.</p> <p>This staging style is a departure from the mainstream visual style of film and television today which situates the camera at oblique angles to the actors, enhancing the layers of foreground, midground and background – closer to the way we see and experience the world.</p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-857" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/857/4a449631c65d123c2342e08df14cd09f3b6d79a4/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>In contrast, Anderson’s approach calls out the artificiality of cinema. He recalls historical film styles from early cinema theatricality to the pop-art cinema of the late 1960s, for example in the films of the late Jean-Luc Godard.</p> <p>Colour is another aspect of Wes Anderson’s visual style, which spills across the TikToks. Like a handful of directors today, he still shoots on film (16mm and 35mm) but now uses digital tools to <a href="https://musicbed.com/articles/filmmaking/cinematography/robert-yeoman-asc-on-shooting-wes-andersons-the-french-dispatch">grade the colour</a> of the images. The Euro-pastels from The Grand Budapest Hotel resurface in American shades for Asteroid City.</p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-858" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/858/d333cb73c1d0b0fdb4ca1f8d48313a013754f2ec/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <h2>Where to next?</h2> <p>As a system in and of itself, the film style of Anderson is ripe for TikTok due to its boldness, clarity and repetition of techniques.</p> <p>Film style operates at the level of the shot. We might recall signature shots such as Hitchcock’s “vertigo effect” (where the camera lens zooms into a subject as the camera moves away), Scorsese’s tracking shots, Nolan’s close-up shots of hands or Tarantino’s point-of-view shots from inside a car boot.</p> <p>But these are isolated shots rather than Anderson’s obsessive, systematic repetition of stylistic choices within each film and across his oeuvre. On TikTok some shots are easier to craft that others, as @astonmartinf1 details in his <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@jllacar/video/7226811816553270571?q=wes%20anderson%20challenge&amp;t=1683337148719">analysis</a> of the Wes Anderson Trend, noting the omission of camera movement in many of the videos which is a defining aspect of his film style proper.</p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-859" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/859/f9767494a7a94dd0475e121fc36513afcc110279/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>In filmmaking, moving the camera is often expensive, separating the amateur from the professional. Anderson’s tracking shots are only feasible within an industrial filmmaking process. While the TikToks may be highly creative, they are made with slim resources a world away from the film budgets of Anderson, who enjoys Medici-like support <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/reliable-source/wp/2015/01/23/mysterious-d-c-mogul-steve-rales-is-behind-oscar-nominated-pic/">from US billionaire Steven Rales</a>.</p> <p>Saying this, there are other aspects of the Wes Anderson style the TikToks could hijack on a budget, such as playfulness with the image aspect ratio and slow-motion photography. Aspect ratio is the relationship between the width and height of an image. TikTok is 9:16, an inverted ratio to our widescreen TVs.</p> <p>As part of his film style, Anderson uses the Classical Hollywood ratio of 4:3 seen in <a href="https://youtu.be/dvubfl-qeC8">The French Dispatch</a>. Both ratios are designed for people (all those selfies) over landscapes, so creative opportunities here for TikTokers.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dvubfl-qeC8?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Anderson is also a fan of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRGqeHIItY8">slow-motion</a> to accentuate key dramatic moments in his films. Today’s smartphones shoot “slo-mo” well, and using TikTok and other basic editing apps the user can apply speed effects to their footage.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yRGqeHIItY8?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>And as generative AI representations of film style wash across social media there’s a new set of questions altogether. Here’s <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CqxBkJnvPRa/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY%3D">Harry Potter as directed by Wes Anderson</a> created by @panoramachannel with AI software Midjourney. But that’s another conversation.<!-- 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/alex-munt-1380279">Alex Munt</a>, Associate Professor, Media Arts &amp; Production, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</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/wes-anderson-has-an-obsessive-systematic-repetition-of-stylistic-choices-hes-perfect-for-this-tiktok-meme-204803">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Searchlight Pictures</em></p>

Movies

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Perfect perfume or eau de cat’s bum? Why scents smell different and 4 fragrance tips

<p>Mother’s Day is coming up in Australia and that means a surge in perfume sales. Of course, scents are purchased year-round and not just for mothers. Fragrance sales in Australia will amount to <a href="https://www.statista.com/outlook/cmo/beauty-personal-care/fragrances/australia%5D">over A$1 billion</a> this year.</p> <p>The word “perfume” is derived from the Latin per fumus, meaning “through smoke”. The <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Mendeleyevs-Dream-Elements-Paul-Strathern/dp/0312262043">very first account</a> of using perfumes dates back to 1200 BC when a <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Women_of_Science.html?id=S7DaAAAAMAAJ&amp;redir_esc=y">woman called Tapputi</a> mixed flowers, oils and various plants with water or solvents, then extracted their fragrance. The basis of this technique for making perfume is still used today.</p> <p>But how do we smell? What makes perfume appealing? And why does it smell differently on different people?</p> <h2>The science of smell</h2> <p>A sense of smell is vital to all species on Earth. One <a href="https://www.science.org/content/article/elephants-may-have-best-noses-earth">study</a> identified African elephants as having the “best noses” in the animal kingdom, not to mention the longest ones. It can help animals sniff out danger, food and mates.</p> <p>For humans, too, being able to smell is not just for the enjoyment of pleasant odours. It can also protect us from toxic chemicals with noxious smells, such as <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ershdb/emergencyresponsecard_29750038.html#:%7E:text=Hydrogen%20cyanide%20(AC)%20gas%20has,as%20a%20solution%20in%20water.">hydrogen cyanide</a>.</p> <p>When something has an odour, it means it is chemically volatile – vaporising from a liquid to a gas. When we smell a scent, gas molecules enter our nose and stimulate specialised nerve cells called <a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-how-do-we-smell-104772">olfactory sensory neurons</a>. When these neurons are triggered, they send a signal to the brain to identify the chemicals.</p> <p>Humans have around 10 million of those neurons and around <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1905909/">400 scent receptors</a>. The human nose can distinguish at least <a href="https://www.science.org/content/article/human-nose-can-detect-trillion-smells#:%7E:text=These%20are%20only%20three%20of,never%20been%20explicitly%20tested%20before.">1 trillion different odours</a>, from freshly brewed coffee to wet dog to mouldy cheese.</p> <p>The more volatile a compound is the lower its boiling point and, from a chemical perspective, the weaker the forces holding the molecules together. When this is the case, more molecules enter the gaseous state and the smell is more intense.</p> <h2>What makes things smell good though?</h2> <p>Different classes of chemical compounds can have more pleasant or offensive scents.</p> <p>Fish and decaying animal cells, for example, release chemicals called <a href="https://chem.libretexts.org/Courses/BridgeValley_Community_and_Technical_College/Fundamentals_of_Chemistry/11%3A_Organic_Chemistry/11.15%3A_Amines#:%7E:text=Amines%20generally%20have%20rather%20pungent,odor%20associated%20with%20dead%20fish.">amines</a>, which don’t smell appealing.</p> <p>Fruits, on the other hand, are composed of chemicals in a class of organic compounds called aldehydes, esters and ketones, which have sweeter and <a href="https://chem.libretexts.org/Courses/Sacramento_City_College/SCC%3A_CHEM_330_-_Adventures_in_Chemistry_(Alviar-Agnew)/09%3A_Organic_Chemistry/9.08%3A_Carboxylic_Acids_and_Esters#:%7E:text=Esters%20occur%20widely%20in%20nature,fragrances%20of%20fruits%20and%20flowers.">more pleasant odours</a>.</p> <p>Chemists have been able to identify the <a href="https://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/table-of-organic-compounds-and-their-smells-revised-edition/">specific chemical smells</a> released by substances we encounter in everyday life.</p> <h2>Smells different</h2> <p>So it makes sense that pleasant-smelling aldehydes, ketones and esters are used to create perfumes. However, some perfumes also contain unusual ingredients that don’t smell nice on their own.</p> <p>For example, Chanel No. 5 perfume – the iconic 100-year-old favourite – contains civet as one of its base chemical notes. <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1973/04/15/archives/a-boycott-of-chanel-no-5-urged-by-humane-groups.html">Civet</a> is used by perfumers for its <a href="https://theconversation.com/civet-musk-a-precious-perfume-ingredient-is-under-threat-steps-to-support-ethiopian-producers-and-protect-the-animals-193469">long-lasting, musky scent</a>. It is traditionally extracted from the anal glands of <a href="https://slate.com/technology/2012/07/chanel-no-5-a-brain-parasite-may-be-the-secret-to-the-famous-perfume.html">civet cats</a> but Chanel has used a synthetic form of civet <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/99a13235-cdb9-431b-b8f1-e52ce4a10486">since 1998</a>.</p> <h2>Tips for choosing and using perfumes</h2> <p>Our ability to smell a perfume will depend on two factors: how well our olfactory sensory neurons are performing (a virus or infection could affect function, for example) and the volatility of the chemicals in the perfume.</p> <p>1. Try before you buy</p> <p>You can’t really do much about your sensory neurons, but you can increase the intensity of perfumes, such as by warming up the perfume on your skin or applying to pulse points. This will help to give molecules more energy and increase the number of molecules entering the gaseous state.</p> <p>Specific perfumes will not smell the same on different people’s skin because the chemicals in them can be affected by the skin’s type and condition (dry or oily, acidic or base) and even their diet. Some foods we eat, such as garlic, are released from our bodies through our skin. Those chemicals can mask perfume chemicals.</p> <p>So, it is better to buy someone their tried and true favourite scent rather than risking a new one. And those department store sample sprays can be useful to try before you buy.</p> <p>2. Moisturise before use</p> <p>When you spray perfume on very dry skin, some of the perfume’s chemicals – the large organic ones that are similar to skin’s natural oils – are absorbed by the skin and then into the sebaceous glands. When some notes in a perfume are absorbed this way, it can take on a different smell. That’s also why it’s better to moisturise skin before spraying perfume, so perfume chemicals stay on the skin for longer.</p> <p>3. Experiment with spraying techniques</p> <p>To avoid changes in the scent of your favourite perfume and increase the time the perfume stays on you, you could spray your hair instead. Your hair is porous so perfume molecules might remain there longer. However, most perfumes contain alcohol, which dries out hair. Spraying perfume directly onto a hairbrush first, then brushing your hair, might prevent some of this drying effect.</p> <p><a href="https://www.byrdie.com/how-to-apply-perfume">Spraying then walking</a> through a mist of perfume so the chemicals settle on your hair, skin and clothes might work – but you risk losing a lot of precious perfume with that technique.</p> <p>4. Keep it cool</p> <p>Temperature will <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5674095_Effect_of_Temperature_on_the_Floral_Scent_Emission_and_Endogenous_Volatile_Profile_of_Petunia_axillaris">affect volatility</a>. To keep perfumes lasting longer in the bottle, keep them in the fridge or cool dark place and tightly sealed to prevent your expensive, heat-sensitive scent evaporating into thin air.</p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/perfect-perfume-or-eau-de-cats-bum-why-scents-smell-different-and-4-fragrance-tips-203905" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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These senior dogs are paws-itively perfect

<p>US photographer Amanda Jones has built a remarkable career capturing the bond between people and their furry best friends, and now, she has taken things a step further with her Dog Years Project. </p> <p>The endeavour sees Jones photographing animals at different points in their lives, from puppyhood to their senior years, to illustrate the bond people share with their canine companions. </p> <p>“A dog’s love is timeless,” the official Dog Years Project’s website explains. “The bond we share with our canine companions deepens and matures in their journey from playful pups to wise old friends. </p> <p>“Dog Years Project is a beautiful collection of the lives of 50 dogs. In portraying each dog at both young and old ages, photographer Amanda Jones reveals the unique spark of personality that lasts a lifetime. </p> <p>“This powerful collection of photographs reminds us that life really is better with a dog by your side.”</p> <p>Jones’ first dog, a gorgeous long-haired Dachshund named Lily, served as the inspiration for the entire project. Lily was photographed from the first day she joined Jones’ family, and Jones’ next Dachshund, Benny, was the next to feature in the 10 year project.</p> <p>“It was the passing of this VERY special dachshund [Lily] at the age of 15 that inspired Amanda to look back at previous shoots and compare the young imagery with the older photographs,” a post to Jones’ Instagram explained. “Her young and old is a good one, don’t you think? Of course, we’ve got all the years in between as well. What a dog she was! We miss her around the studio each and every day.”</p> <p>And one commenter summed it up well when they admitted, “this really made me cry. I always loved older dogs even more than I love puppies. They all have strong personalities and look like those people with many stories to tell … To those of you who can enjoy your beloved ones pics in this project, be sure you’re blessed.”</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/CbGx3wfOyF1/?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/CbGx3wfOyF1/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Amanda Jones (@amandajonesinc)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The collection of photos see two side-by-side images of the same dog, with some as young as six months old in the first shot, and some as old as 16 years in the second - at different points in their lives, highlighting the differences while revealing the unique personalities that last them a lifetime.</p> <p>As Jones has put it, she believes “people can relate to the visible ageing process that the images show. I think senior dogs in general stir up strong emotions in people.”</p> <p>Jones’ pictures have been compiled into a book titled <em>Dog Years: Faithful Friends, Then &amp; Now</em>, with Jones noting that while working on the publication, she “rejoined dogs, couples, and families” she had met years prior. </p> <p>“Some dogs had been lost to illness and accidents,” she said. “Most are living amazingly long, happy lives in perfect surroundings.”</p> <p>And perhaps most importantly, as Jones herself explained, “one thing that remains constant is the love people and dogs have for each other.</p> <p>“That does not change, no matter how many dog years go by.”</p> <p><em>Images: @amandajonesinc / Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Rebel Wilson’s criminal save

<p> While Rebel Wilson has found her forever love with designer Ramona Agruma, it took overcoming a few bumps in the dating road to get there.</p> <p>Speaking on the <em>U Up?</em> podcast, the <em>Pitch Perfect </em>star revealed one of the more notable dating near-disasters she experienced, and how it was her castmates who saved her. </p> <p>“I did go out with one guy I nicknamed ‘The Criminal’,” she told hosts Jordana Abraham and Jared Freid.</p> <p>“I think he was like a legit criminal. Basically, the <em>Pitch Perfect</em> girls saved me from that one.”</p> <p>She went on to explain that her co-stars had managed to find out “some s**t on the internet” about the guy, and warned her to steer clear of the man. She had, apparently, met him on the set of another production. </p> <p>Suspicion arose for them when the man agreed to come to New York to spend the weekend with Rebel, but refused to share the details of his flight with her. Upon pressing him for an explanation, the man confessed that he was not allowed to fly across state lines as he was “under investigation”. </p> <p>And while the relationship had been a “casual thing, so I [Rebel] didn’t get too deep into that situation”, she added that she felt the need to let him down “easy” as she didn’t want to put herself at risk with an alleged criminal. </p> <p>It wasn’t the only story that Rebel chose to share during her appearance, with the 43-year-old also opening up about how she’d actually been “dumped” by a woman before crossing paths with fiancée Ramona Agruma - with whom she shares daughter Royce Lillian. </p> <p>“I met a woman and had, like, feelings for her, which totally came as a blindside,” Rebel admitted. “It wasn’t what I was expecting.”</p> <p>“I said the words, ‘I don’t want to offend you, but are you interested in women?’</p> <p>“I’ve never had a conversation like that [before] because I was dating dudes and never had to talk about sexuality.</p> <p>“She was like, ‘I have feelings for you as well’.”</p> <p>She noted that it was difficult for her to put her feelings into words, but that time they had together was “very important” to her, and that she wouldn’t be naming her partner out of respect.</p> <p>Things obviously “didn’t end up going anywhere”, but the relationship helped her open up to her sexuality, and she met Ramona soon after. </p> <p>And the rest, as they say, is romantic history. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty </em></p>

Relationships

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David Campbell’s picture perfect blast from the past

<p>When Trevor Long stopped by the <em>Today</em> show, David Campbell promised it to be “the best thing that’s ever happened on this show.” </p> <p>And while David himself may have had a few things to say afterwards - with his past mullet being exposed to the world - Trevor certainly had a lot to offer viewers, outlining a whole host of options for turning their old photographs into digital keepsakes. </p> <p>“If you’re like me,” David began, “and I still have a lot of my old photos … I don’t trust clouds, I miss photos … and they’re all stored in our phones and it freaks me out.” </p> <p>“Photos like this one, David?” Trevor asked, an old photo of David and his school friends - John and Glen - on display in his hands. </p> <p>“That freaks everyone else out,” was David’s immediate response. </p> <p>The image saw the three at what appeared to be a formal event, two of them even sporting waistcoats, but it was David’s remarkable haircut that caught their attention, and their amusement.  </p> <p>“That is a mullet, ladies and gentlemen,” Trevor declared, to <em>Today</em> co-host Sylvia Jeffreys’ laughter. </p> <p>From there, Sylvia went on to explain that their goal was to “keep photos like that alive because we should never forget that mullet.”</p> <p>And that’s where Trevor came in, noting that he had many photo albums at home, and that “you kind of think that you’re going to lose those memories.” </p> <p>The solution, he believes, is in taking them to the digital sphere, where they can be kept ‘forever’. </p> <p>First on his list of digitising options was an application called Google Photo Scan. He went on to demonstrate how all users need to do is “point the phone at the photo”, wait for the flash which they may find “a bit weird”, and for dots to appear “on each corner”. </p> <p>Using David’s mullet throwback as his example, he waited for the picture to scan, and then revealed the results: a near-perfect replica on his phone that was “now Facebook shareable” and “also just something you can keep in your digital library”.</p> <p>Next up was the most efficient - and most expensive at over $600 - of Trevor’s solutions, with Epson’s Fastfoto scanner. The photos were inserted in bulk into the machine, and deposited at the other end in rapid succession after enhancing and saving the images to his computer - quite unlike a scanner, though similar in process, where each photo must be manually attended to throughout the entire job. According to Trevor, the Epson device had the potential to do “a hundred a minute”. </p> <p>Last but not least came the answer for those with an awful lot of old film negatives lying around. The Kodak Slide ‘n’ Scan, he demonstrated, required users to slide film through the device, with each image appearing on a small screen at the front. After pressing the button on top just once, the picture would be saved onto a memory card, ready to be moved wherever its owner desired.</p> <p>“It’s a little bit of a manual process,” Trevor allowed, “but as you push it through [and] press the button, it saves it on a memory card, kind of like the memory card you have on your digital camera. Put it into your computer, and again, you choose what you do with your photos.” </p> <p>And for those worried about the cost of some of the products he’d showcased? Trevor’s answer was simple: sell them. </p> <p>From there there was only one concern left to address, as David was showing his mullet pic to the camera, with Trevor asking “can you grow that back?” </p> <p>David, laughing, shot back, “I wish I could!” </p> <p><em>Images: Nine </em></p>

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