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Neighbour's "selfish" parking act sparks outrage

<p>A resident in Leichhardt, Sydney, has taken matters into their own hands and decided to deal with the lack of parking by using orange traffic cones to reserve a space for themselves. </p> <p>But frustrated neighbours were not pleased with this act, as parking on the the busy street is already difficult to find. </p> <p>"It's been ongoing for months and doesn't look renovation-related," they wrote on social media. </p> <p>It is understood that there are no parking restrictions on the street, meaning that residents can park there for as long as they like, if they're lucky enough to find a spot. </p> <p>Social media users were quick to share their thoughts, with many suggesting to just move the "witches hats."</p> <p>Others slammed the resident's parking act as "outrageous" and called him out for his "rude" and "selfish" behaviour. </p> <p>"I've noticed that for months and wondered why people have been so observant of them," one person wrote. </p> <p>"I guess if you're self-entitled and can get away with it," another added. </p> <p>"Remove them when they aren't there, someone will park there," a third wrote. </p> <p>While there were a few others who supported the act, and said that residents were entitled to reserve a parking spot, the Inner West Council has debunked it. </p> <p>They said that reserving street parking using objects like traffic cones or other items and then leaving these objects unattended is prohibited. </p> <p>"Unfortunately, this type of thing does happen in our local government area," a spokesperson told <em>Yahoo</em>.  </p> <p>The council has also urged anyone who sees someone using their belongings to obstruct public use of amenities to report it, with fines ranging from $330 to $660. </p> <p><em>Image: Facebook</em></p>

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Take my (bad) breath away – causes of halitosis and how to check whether you have it

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dan-baumgardt-1451396">Dan Baumgardt</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p>In Greek mythology, the many-headed beast <a href="https://mythopedia.com/topics/hydra">Hydra</a> had such severe <a href="https://patient.info/oral-dental-care/bad-breath-halitosis">halitosis</a> that the stench of its breath was deadly to anyone who smelled it. Thankfully, our morning breath might not be that pungent – although eating <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/get-rid-of-garlic-onion-breath">onions or garlic</a> can put some people in competition with the Hydra.</p> <p>Halitosis has many causes (aside from poor oral hygiene) and can indicate problems with the gut, the sinuses and even the bloodstream. In fact, breath samples can even be tested to make formal diagnoses of health conditions.</p> <p>One condition that can affect the smell of breath is <a href="https://www.diabetes.org.uk/">diabetes mellitus</a>. This is a metabolic disorder where sugar (glucose) is unable to access the body’s cells where it is needed to provide energy, and so rises in the bloodstream.</p> <p>In some instances, such as insufficient insulin dosing, or infection, the body’s response is to break down fats into compounds called ketones to act as a rapid form of fuel. This serious condition is called <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetic-ketoacidosis/">diabetic ketoacidosis</a>.</p> <p>Ketones have a distinctive scent. <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/acetone-properties-and-incident-management/acetone-general-information">Acetone</a>, which is also an ingredient in some nail varnish removers, is one of these ketones and has the smell of pear drops. When ketones build up in the bloodstream they easily <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0967-3334/32/8/N01/pdf">diffuse into the breath</a>, giving it a <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319683">fruity odour</a>.</p> <p>It’s not just diabetes that can trigger ketone production. <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36033148/">Some diets</a> are based on generating ketones from the breakdown of fats to promote weight loss. These methods, such as the <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/atkins-diet-101">Atkins diet</a>, force the body to convert fat into energy by restricting carbohydrates.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5U8IDO1fHlU?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Other diets based on the same principles include the <a href="https://patient.info/healthy-living/weight-loss-weight-reduction/52-diet">5:2</a> intermittent fasting diet. On this diet, followers restrict food intake on two days of the week to significantly reduce calorie consumption – and make the body produce ketones.</p> <p>These diets may help weight loss, but the side-effects can be grim. One of the most notorious side-effects is foul breath, although there are also anecdotal reports of <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2019/03/03/is-keto-crotch-really-a-side-effect-of-the-keto-diet/">“keto crotch”</a> where some followers of keto diets complain of strong genital odour.</p> <h2>Bacteria and breath</h2> <p>Another cause of bad breath is an <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1752-7155/4/1/017003/pdf">overgrowth of bacteria</a> that produce foul smells. There are plenty of nooks and crannies in the mouth for bacteria to hide, grow and fester, especially the hard-to-clean areas – in between the teeth, and in and around the gums and tongue – or out-of-reach places, such as right at the back of the mouth and the throat.</p> <p>The throat acts as a passage for food, fluids and air. Some patients can develop a condition called <a href="https://www.entuk.org/patients/conditions/49/pharyngeal_pouch_surgery_new">pharyngeal pouch</a>. This is where a pocket forms at the back of the pharynx (the medical name for the throat) in which food and fluids can accumulate, ferment and give breath a pungent odour.</p> <p>Bacteria can also trigger infections in the mouth, like tonsillitis and tooth abscesses where tissues become inflamed, or develop purulence (production of pus). Pus is a collection of different dead cells, including bacteria, and it too can give off a putrid smell.</p> <p>Also, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25234037/">sinusitis</a> – which is an infection of the air-filled cavities in the skull – can drip foul-smelling infected secretions into the throat, causing bad breath.</p> <h2>Breath tests</h2> <p>Doctors can test breath for bacteria to diagnose some health conditions. For example, <em><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28891138/">Helicobacter pylori</a></em>, bacteria that can irritate the gut and lead to the development of potentially dangerous ulcers, turns the compound urea into carbon dioxide. To test for <em>H pylori</em>, a <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stomach-ulcer/diagnosis/">diagnostic breath test</a> is performed before and after dosing a patient with urea. If the patient exhales increased levels of carbon dioxide after being dosed with urea, then the test is positive.</p> <p>Breath can also be tested for an overgrowth of bacteria in the <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/sibo">small intestine</a> (Sibo), which can lead to symptoms like abdominal pain and bloating. Sibo produces gases like hydrogen and methane that can also be detected with a breath test.</p> <p>If you’re worried about pongy breath and don’t have any medical issues, then you can <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/how-to-smell-your-own-breath">test your own breath</a>. The age-old method is to lick the back of your wrist, let it dry and then have a sniff. You can also do the same with a tongue scraper, dental floss or a sample of breath exhaled into a cupped hand.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ak5UEM8FK2s?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Often, we can become used to the smell of our own breath. We might only notice when it becomes really bad, or when there are other symptoms, like a foul taste in the mouth. Or when someone plucks up the courage to finally tell you that you have a case of the breath pongs.</p> <p>Suppose someone has broken the news – what do you do now? <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bad-breath/">Simple measures can work well</a>, including regular fluid intake – <a href="https://www.dentalhealth.org/bad-breath">dry mouth</a> can lead to bad breath so make sure you’re drinking enough water – and good oral hygiene. This involves brushing the teeth, tongue and flossing between your teeth to eliminate any bacterial hot spots, as well as regular checkups at the dentist.</p> <p>Mouthwash can be an effective temporary solution but there’s evidence that a <a href="https://theconversation.com/eating-leafy-greens-could-be-better-for-oral-health-than-using-mouthwash-221181#:%7E:text=But%20research%20has%20indicated%20that,alternative%20for%20treating%20oral%20disease.">diet rich in leafy greens</a> might be even better at countering bad breath.</p> <p>Smoking is another potential underlying <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-cigarette-breath#1-brush-teeth">cause of halitosis</a>. So if you want sweeter breath, pack in the cigarettes – yet another good reason to give up.<!-- 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/231858/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/dan-baumgardt-1451396">Dan Baumgardt</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/take-my-bad-breath-away-causes-of-halitosis-and-how-to-check-whether-you-have-it-231858">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Neighbours fan favourite leaving Ramsay Street after 30 years

<p>After 30 years on Ramsay Street, a fan favourite actor is saying goodbye to <em>Neighbours</em>. </p> <p>Ryan Moloney, known for his longstanding role as Jarrod ‘Toadfish’ Rebecchi, announced that he would be leaving the show in an announcement video posted to the <em>Neighbours</em> Instagram page. </p> <p>The 44-year-old actor introduced himself as “formerly Jarrod ‘Toadfish’ Rebecchi" before clarifying, "That’s right, I did say formerly, because after 30 years playing Toadie, I will be leaving Ramsay Street.”</p> <p>“I can’t tell you what is happening to the character – maybe I could be the next Jim Robinson. Or maybe I’ll be the next Harold Bishop and just keep popping back over the years.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C8tUG1GScZq/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C8tUG1GScZq/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Neighbours (@neighbours)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Moloney hinted at his career change saying he wanted to spend more time behind the camera and start working as a director. </p> <p>As part of his new career move, he shared that he’d just finished on his first <em>Neighbours</em> episode as a director.</p> <p>“Thank you all so much for all the love that you have shown me and Toadie over the years. For three decades, in fact. I’m going to miss you, I’m going to miss him, and I’m going to miss Erinsborough. But whatever you do, make sure you do not miss what is going to happen on Ramsay Street,” he said. </p> <p>The sudden news sent fans into a tizzy, with many sharing emotional reactions to the news as they prepared to farewell a character who has been with them since the 90s. </p> <p>“Omg What?! Toadie is iconic. Won’t be the same. Hopefully he comes back to Erinsborough for a visit,” wrote one viewer.</p> <p>“This is so sad! I hope he keeps ‘popping back’ to the street rather than die. I am going to miss toadie,” said another.</p> <p>Moloney made his <em>Neighbours</em> debut in 1995 as a teenager and stayed with the show until it was axed in 2022.</p> <p>He was then one of the returning cast members when the show was rebooted a year later.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Andy Barnes / FameFlynet.uk.com/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p> </p>

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Not all ultra-processed foods are bad for your health, whatever you might have heard

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gary-sacks-3957">Gary Sacks</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kathryn-backholer-10739">Kathryn Backholer</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kathryn-bradbury-1532662">Kathryn Bradbury</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-auckland-waipapa-taumata-rau-1305">University of Auckland, Waipapa Taumata Rau</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sally-mackay-1532685">Sally Mackay</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-auckland-waipapa-taumata-rau-1305">University of Auckland, Waipapa Taumata Rau</a></em></p> <p>In recent years, there’s been <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC11036430/">increasing</a> <a href="https://theconversation.com/ultra-processed-foods-heres-what-the-evidence-actually-says-about-them-220255#:%7E:text=Hype%20around%20ultra%2Dprocessed%20food,or%20worry%20about%20their%20health.">hype</a> about the potential health risks associated with so-called “ultra-processed” foods.</p> <p>But new evidence published <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/385/bmj-2023-078476">this week</a> found not all “ultra-processed” foods are linked to poor health. That includes the mass-produced wholegrain bread you buy from the supermarket.</p> <p>While this newly published research and associated <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/385/bmj.q793">editorial</a> are unlikely to end the wrangling about how best to define unhealthy foods and diets, it’s critical those debates don’t delay the implementation of policies that are likely to actually improve our diets.</p> <h2>What are ultra-processed foods?</h2> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30744710/">Ultra-processed foods</a> are industrially produced using a variety of processing techniques. They typically include ingredients that can’t be found in a home kitchen, such as preservatives, emulsifiers, sweeteners and/or artificial colours.</p> <p>Common examples of ultra-processed foods include packaged chips, flavoured yoghurts, soft drinks, sausages and mass-produced packaged wholegrain bread.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7719194/#CR13">many other countries</a>, ultra-processed foods make up a large proportion of what people eat. A <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31676952/">recent study</a> estimated they make up an average of 42% of total energy intake in Australia.</p> <h2>How do ultra-processed foods affect our health?</h2> <p>Previous <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33167080/">studies</a> have linked increased consumption of ultra-processed food with poorer health. High consumption of ultra-processed food, for example, has been associated with a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38418082/">higher risk</a> of type 2 diabetes, and death from heart disease and stroke.</p> <p>Ultra-processed foods are typically high in energy, added sugars, salt and/or unhealthy fats. These have long been <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet">recognised</a> as risk factors for a range of diseases.</p> <p>It has also been suggested that structural changes that happen to ultra-processed foods as part of the manufacturing process <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31105044/">may</a> lead you to eat more than you should. Potential explanations are that, due to the way they’re made, the foods are quicker to eat and more palatable.</p> <p>It’s also <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35952706/">possible</a> certain food additives may impair normal body functions, such as the way our cells reproduce.</p> <h2>Is it harmful? It depends on the food’s nutrients</h2> <p>The <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/385/bmj-2023-078476">new paper</a> just published used 30 years of data from two large US cohort studies to evaluate the relationship between ultra-processed food consumption and long-term health. The study tried to disentangle the effects of the manufacturing process itself from the nutrient profile of foods.</p> <p>The study found a small increase in the risk of early death with higher ultra-processed food consumption.</p> <p>But importantly, the authors also looked at diet quality. They found that for people who had high quality diets (high in fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, as well as healthy fats, and low in sugary drinks, salt, and red and processed meat), there was no clear association between the amount of ultra-processed food they ate and risk of premature death.</p> <p>This suggests overall diet quality has a stronger influence on long-term health than ultra-processed food consumption.</p> <p>When the researchers analysed ultra-processed foods by sub-category, mass-produced wholegrain products, such as supermarket wholegrain breads and wholegrain breakfast cereals, were not associated with poorer health.</p> <p>This finding matches another recent <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38417577/">study</a> that suggests ultra-processed wholegrain foods are not a driver of poor health.</p> <p>The authors concluded, while there was some support for limiting consumption of certain types of ultra-processed food for long-term health, not all ultra-processed food products should be universally restricted.</p> <h2>Should dietary guidelines advise against ultra-processed foods?</h2> <p>Existing national <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/2022-09/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines.pdf">dietary</a> <a href="https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/eating-activity-guidelines-new-zealand-adults-updated-2020-oct22.pdf">guidelines</a> have been developed and refined based on decades of nutrition evidence.</p> <p>Much of the recent evidence related to ultra-processed foods tells us what we already knew: that products like soft drinks, alcohol and processed meats are bad for health.</p> <p>Dietary guidelines <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35184508/">generally</a> already advise to eat mostly whole foods and to limit consumption of highly processed foods that are high in refined grains, saturated fat, sugar and salt.</p> <p>But some nutrition researchers have <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/384/bmj.q439">called</a> for dietary guidelines to be amended to recommend avoiding ultra-processed foods.</p> <p>Based on the available evidence, it would be difficult to justify adding a sweeping statement about avoiding all ultra-processed foods.</p> <p>Advice to avoid all ultra-processed foods would likely unfairly impact people on low-incomes, as many ultra-processed foods, such as supermarket breads, are relatively affordable and convenient.</p> <p>Wholegrain breads also provide important nutrients, such as fibre. In many countries, bread is the <a href="https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/a-focus-on-nutrition-ch3_0.pdf">biggest contributor</a> to fibre intake. So it would be problematic to recommend avoiding supermarket wholegrain bread just because it’s ultra-processed.</p> <h2>So how can we improve our diets?</h2> <p>There is strong <a href="https://www.foodpolicyindex.org.au/_files/ugd/7ee332_a2fa1694e42f423195caf581044fccf1.pdf">consensus</a> on the need to implement evidence-based policies to improve population diets. This includes legislation to restrict children’s exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods and brands, mandatory Health Star Rating nutrition labelling and taxes on sugary drinks.</p> <p>These policies are underpinned by <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37659696/">well-established systems</a> for classifying the healthiness of foods. If new evidence unfolds about mechanisms by which ultra-processed foods drive health harms, these classification systems can be updated to reflect such evidence. If specific additives are found to be harmful to health, for example, this evidence can be incorporated into existing nutrient profiling systems, such as the <a href="http://www.healthstarrating.gov.au/internet/healthstarrating/publishing.nsf/content/home">Health Star Rating</a> food labelling scheme.</p> <p>Accordingly, policymakers can confidently progress food policy implementation using the tools for classifying the healthiness of foods that we already have.</p> <p>Unhealthy diets and obesity are among the <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/burden-of-disease/burden-of-disease-study-2018-key-findings/contents/key-findings">largest contributors</a> to poor health. We can’t let the hype and academic debate around “ultra-processed” foods delay implementation of globally recommended policies for improving population diets.<!-- 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/229493/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/gary-sacks-3957">Gary Sacks</a>, Professor of Public Health Policy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kathryn-backholer-10739">Kathryn Backholer</a>, Co-Director, Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kathryn-bradbury-1532662">Kathryn Bradbury</a>, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Population Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-auckland-waipapa-taumata-rau-1305">University of Auckland, Waipapa Taumata Rau</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sally-mackay-1532685">Sally Mackay</a>, Senior Lecturer Epidemiology and Biostatistics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-auckland-waipapa-taumata-rau-1305">University of Auckland, Waipapa Taumata Rau</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/not-all-ultra-processed-foods-are-bad-for-your-health-whatever-you-might-have-heard-229493">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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"Welcome home, Harold": Iconic Neighbours actor returns to Ramsay Street

<p>More than 15 years after his departure, Harold Bishop is returning to Ramsay Street. </p> <p>Ian Smith's character has long been a fan favourite on <em>Neighbours</em>, after originally starring on the soap between 1987 and 1991, before he returned in 1996 until his departure in 2009. </p> <p>Since then, Harold has made multiple guest appearances, including in the 2022 finale.</p> <p>When Amazon picked up the Aussie show, Smith rejoined the cast for a short time but quickly left after a health scare.</p> <p>But now, Harold is making another comeback. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5fVoAlvJEJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&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/C5fVoAlvJEJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Neighbours (@neighbours)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The official <em>Neighbours</em> Instagram shared the exciting news of his return, writing, “After 15 years of living away, the legendary Harold Bishop is returning to Erinsborough."</p> <p>“We are thrilled to welcome Ian Smith back to the show and the opening titles, where he belongs.”</p> <p>Fan were quick to flood the comment section with excitable messages, rejoicing in the fact that a fan favourite character was returning. </p> <p>“The best news. The show misses an elder character like Harold,” one person wrote.</p> <p>Another commented, “Absolutely amazing news to wake up too. Welcome home, Harold.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / YouTube </em></p>

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How bad is junk food for you, really?

<div> <p>Consuming more junk foods, such as soft drinks, packaged snacks, and sugary cereals, is associated with a higher risk of more than 30 different health problems – both physical and mental – according to researchers.</p> <p>A study, known as an umbrella review, combined the results of 45 previous meta-analyses published in the last three years, representing about 10 million participants.</p> <p>Thirty-two different poor health outcomes were found to be linked to the consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPFs), with varying levels of evidence supporting the findings.</p> <p>The researchers found the most convincing evidence around higher ultra-processed food intake, which was associated with a 50% increased risk of cardiovascular disease-related death, a 48-53% higher risk of anxiety and common mental disorders, and a 12% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>Evidence marked as ‘highly suggestive’ included a 21% increase in death from any cause, a 40-66% increased risk of a heart disease related death, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and sleep problems, as well as a 22% increased risk of depression.</p> <p>The review also found there may be links between ultra-processed food and asthma; gastrointestinal health; some cancers; and other risk factors such as high blood fats and low levels of ‘good’ cholesterol, but the researchers note this evidence is limited.</p> <p>Dr Daisy Coyle from the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, who was not involved in the research, says the statistics are “staggering.”</p> <p>“Ultra-processed foods, laden with additives and sometimes lacking in essential nutrients, have become ubiquitous in the Australian diet,” she says.</p> <p>“In fact, they make up almost half of what we buy at the supermarket. While not all ultra-processed foods are linked to poor health outcomes, many are, particularly sugary drinks and processed meats.”</p> <div> </div> <p>While the findings are in line with other research that highlights the health risks associated with UPFs, some experts have pointed out that the study is observational, and therefore can’t prove the ultra-processed foods cause these health issues. It can only show an association.</p> <p>“While these associations are interesting and warrant further high-quality research, they do not and cannot provide evidence of causality,” The University of Sydney’s Dr Alan Barclay told the AusSMC.</p> <p>“By their very nature, observational studies are renowned for being confounded by numerous factors – both known and unknown.”</p> <p>Clare Collins, Laureate Professor at the University of Newcastle agreed, but added that it’s difficult to conduct dietary studies like this in a different way.</p> <p>“The studies are observational, which means cause and effect cannot be proven and that the research evidence gets downgraded, compared to intervention studies,” she says.</p> <p>“The problem is that it is not ethical to do an intervention study lasting for many years where you feed people lots of UPF every day and wait for them to get sick and die.”</p> <p>For now, researchers seem to agree that it can’t be a bad thing to minimise UPF intake.</p> <p>The review suggests a need for policies that pull consumers away from ultra-processed foods, such as advertising restrictions, warning labels, bans in schools and hospitals. It also calls for measures that make healthier foods more accessible and affordable.</p> <p>Dr Charlotte Gupta from Central Queensland University suggests that this is issue of accessibility is particularly relevant for shift workers such as doctors, nurses, firefighters, taxi drivers, miners, and hospitality workers.</p> <p>“There is a lack of availability of fresh foods or time to prepare any food, and so ultra-processed foods have to be relied on (e.g. from the vending machine in the hospital),” she said.</p> <p>“This highlights the need for not only individuals to try reducing ultra-processed foods in our diet, but also for public health actions to improve access to healthier foods.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/how-bad-is-junk-food-for-you-really/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/olivia-henry/">Olivia Henry</a>. </em></p> </div>

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Why it’s a bad idea to mix alcohol with some medications

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nial-wheate-96839">Nial Wheate</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jasmine-lee-1507733">Jasmine Lee</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kellie-charles-1309061">Kellie Charles</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tina-hinton-329706">Tina Hinton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Anyone who has drunk alcohol will be familiar with how easily it can lower your social inhibitions and let you do things you wouldn’t normally do.</p> <p>But you may not be aware that mixing certain medicines with alcohol can increase the effects and put you at risk.</p> <p>When you mix alcohol with medicines, whether prescription or over-the-counter, the medicines can increase the effects of the alcohol or the alcohol can increase the side-effects of the drug. Sometimes it can also result in all new side-effects.</p> <h2>How alcohol and medicines interact</h2> <p>The chemicals in your brain maintain a delicate balance between excitation and inhibition. Too much excitation can lead to <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324330">convulsions</a>. Too much inhibition and you will experience effects like sedation and depression.</p> <p><iframe id="JCh01" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/JCh01/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Alcohol works by increasing the amount of inhibition in the brain. You might recognise this as a sense of relaxation and a lowering of social inhibitions when you’ve had a couple of alcoholic drinks.</p> <p>With even more alcohol, you will notice you can’t coordinate your muscles as well, you might slur your speech, become dizzy, forget things that have happened, and even fall asleep.</p> <p>Medications can interact with alcohol to <a href="https://awspntest.apa.org/record/2022-33281-033">produce different or increased effects</a>. Alcohol can interfere with the way a medicine works in the body, or it can interfere with the way a medicine is absorbed from the stomach. If your medicine has similar side-effects as being drunk, those <a href="https://www.drugs.com/article/medications-and-alcohol.html#:%7E:text=Additive%20effects%20of%20alcohol%20and,of%20drug%20in%20the%20bloodstream.">effects can be compounded</a>.</p> <p>Not all the side-effects need to be alcohol-like. Mixing alcohol with the ADHD medicine ritalin, for example, can <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/ritalin-and-alcohol#side-effects">increase the drug’s effect on the heart</a>, increasing your heart rate and the risk of a heart attack.</p> <p>Combining alcohol with ibuprofen can lead to a higher risk of stomach upsets and stomach bleeds.</p> <p>Alcohol can increase the break-down of certain medicines, such as <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0149763421005121?via%3Dihub">opioids, cannabis, seizures, and even ritalin</a>. This can make the medicine less effective. Alcohol can also alter the pathway of how a medicine is broken down, potentially creating toxic chemicals that can cause serious liver complications. This is a particular problem with <a href="https://australianprescriber.tg.org.au/articles/alcohol-and-paracetamol.html">paracetamol</a>.</p> <p>At its worst, the consequences of mixing alcohol and medicines can be fatal. Combining a medicine that acts on the brain with alcohol may make driving a car or operating heavy machinery difficult and lead to a serious accident.</p> <h2>Who is at most risk?</h2> <p>The effects of mixing alcohol and medicine are not the same for everyone. Those most at risk of an interaction are older people, women and people with a smaller body size.</p> <p>Older people do not break down medicines as quickly as younger people, and are often on <a href="https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/our-work/healthcare-variation/fourth-atlas-2021/medicines-use-older-people/61-polypharmacy-75-years-and-over#:%7E:text=is%20this%20important%3F-,Polypharmacy%20is%20when%20people%20are%20using%20five%20or%20more%20medicines,take%20five%20or%20more%20medicines.">more than one medication</a>.</p> <p>Older people also are more sensitive to the effects of medications acting on the brain and will experience more side-effects, such as dizziness and falls.</p> <p>Women and people with smaller body size tend to have a higher blood alcohol concentration when they consume the same amount of alcohol as someone larger. This is because there is less water in their bodies that can mix with the alcohol.</p> <h2>What drugs can’t you mix with alcohol?</h2> <p>You’ll know if you can’t take alcohol because there will be a prominent warning on the box. Your pharmacist should also counsel you on your medicine when you pick up your script.</p> <p>The most common <a href="https://adf.org.au/insights/prescription-meds-alcohol/">alcohol-interacting prescription medicines</a> are benzodiazepines (for anxiety, insomnia, or seizures), opioids for pain, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and some antibiotics, like metronidazole and tinidazole.</p> <p>It’s not just prescription medicines that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol. Some over-the-counter medicines that you shouldn’t combine with alcohol include medicines for sleeping, travel sickness, cold and flu, allergy, and pain.</p> <p>Next time you pick up a medicine from your pharmacist or buy one from the local supermarket, check the packaging and ask for advice about whether you can consume alcohol while taking it.</p> <p>If you do want to drink alcohol while being on medication, discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist first.<!-- 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/223293/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/nial-wheate-96839"><em>Nial Wheate</em></a><em>, Associate Professor of the School of Pharmacy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jasmine-lee-1507733">Jasmine Lee</a>, Pharmacist and PhD Candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kellie-charles-1309061">Kellie Charles</a>, Associate Professor in Pharmacology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tina-hinton-329706">Tina Hinton</a>, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</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/why-its-a-bad-idea-to-mix-alcohol-with-some-medications-223293">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Anger, sadness, boredom, anxiety – emotions that feel bad can be useful

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/heather-lench-1349234">Heather Lench</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/texas-aandm-university-1672">Texas A&amp;M University</a></em></p> <p>Remember the sadness that came with the last time you failed miserably at something? Or the last time you were so anxious about an upcoming event that you couldn’t concentrate for days?</p> <p>These types of emotions are unpleasant to experience and can even feel overwhelming. People often try to avoid them, suppress them or ignore them. In fact, in psychology experiments, people will <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-012-9394-7">pay money to not feel many negative emotions</a>. But recent research is revealing that emotions can be useful, and even negative emotions can bring benefits.</p> <p><a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=fzHtrJIAAAAJ&amp;hl=en&amp;oi=ao">In my</a> <a href="https://emotionsciencelab.com">emotion science lab</a> at Texas A&amp;M University, we study how emotions like anger and boredom affect people, and we explore ways that these feelings can be beneficial. We share the results so people can learn how to use their emotions to build the lives they want.</p> <p>Our studies and many others have shown that emotions aren’t uniformly good or bad for people. Instead, different emotions can result in better outcomes in particular types of situations. Emotions seem to function like a Swiss army knife – different emotional tools are helpful in specific situations.</p> <h2>Sadness can help you recover from a failure</h2> <p>Sadness occurs when people perceive that they’ve lost a goal or a desired outcome, and there’s nothing they can do to improve the situation. It could be getting creamed in a game or failing a class or work project, or it can be losing a relationship with a family member. Once evoked, sadness is associated with what psychologists call a deactivation state of doing little, without much behavior or <a href="https://dictionary.apa.org/arousal">physical arousal</a>. Sadness also brings <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/ap.12232">thinking that is more detailed and analytical</a>. It makes you stop <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721412474458">and think</a>.</p> <p>The benefit of the stopping and thinking that comes with sadness is that it <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77619-4_4">helps people recover from failure</a>. When you fail, that typically means the situation you’re in is not conducive to success. Instead of just charging ahead in this type of scenario, sadness prompts people to step back and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/a0016242">evaluate what is happening</a>.</p> <p>When people are sad, they process information in a deliberative, analytical way and want to avoid risk. This mode comes with <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.75.2.318">more accurate memory</a>, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/02699939108411048">judgment that is less influenced</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2004.11.005">by irrelevant assumptions or information</a>, and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2008.04.010">better detection of other people lying</a>. These cognitive changes can encourage people to understand past failures and possibly prevent future ones.</p> <p>Sadness can function differently when there’s the possibility that the failure could be avoided if other people help. In these situations, people tend to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.1994.tb01049.x">cry and can experience</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s10286-018-0526-y">increased physiological arousal</a>, such as quicker heart and breathing rates. Expressing sadness, through tears or verbally, has the benefit of <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/147470491301100114">potentially recruiting other people to help you</a> achieve your goals. This behavior appears to start in infants, with <a href="https://doi.org/10.2307/1127506">tears and cries signaling caregivers to help</a>.</p> <h2>Anger prepares you to overcome an obstacle</h2> <p>Anger occurs when people perceive they’re losing a goal or desired outcome, but that they could improve the situation by removing something that’s in their way. The obstacle could be an injustice committed by another person, or it could be a computer that repeatedly crashes while you’re trying to get work done. Once evoked, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/a0024244">anger is associated with a “readiness for action,”</a> and your <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0191-8869(02)00313-6">thinking focuses on the obstacle</a>.</p> <p>The benefit of being prepared for action and focused on what’s in your way is that it motivates you to overcome what’s standing between you and your goal. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073913512003">When people are angry</a>, they <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2420240104">process information and make judgments rapidly</a>, want to take action, and are <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2010.03.010">physiologically aroused</a>. In experiments, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2010.04.017">anger actually increases the force of people’s kicks</a>, which can be helpful in physical encounters. Anger results in better outcomes in situations that involve challenges to goals, including confrontational games, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000350">tricky puzzles</a>, video games with obstacles, and responding quickly on tasks.</p> <p>Expressing anger, facially or verbally, has the benefit of <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000292">prompting other people to clear the way</a>. People are <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.86.1.57">more likely to concede in negotiations</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2012.12.015">give in on issues</a> when their adversary looks or says they are angry.</p> <h2>Anxiety helps you prepare for danger</h2> <p>Anxiety occurs when people <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/070674371105601202">perceive a potential threat</a>. This could be giving a speech to a large audience where failure would put your self-esteem on the line, or it could be a physical threat to yourself or loved ones. Once evoked, anxiety is associated with being prepared to respond to danger, including increased physical arousal and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01701.x">attention to threats and risk</a>.</p> <p>Being prepared for danger means that if trouble brews, you can respond quickly to prevent or avoid it. When anxious, people detect threats rapidly, have fast reaction times and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01701.x">are on heightened alert</a>. The eye-widening that often comes with fear and anxiety even <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2138">gives people a wider field of vision</a> and improves threat detection.</p> <p>Anxiety prepares the body for action, which improves performance on a number of tasks that involve motivation and attention. It motivates people to prepare for upcoming events, such as devoting time to study for an exam. Anxiety also prompts protective behavior, which can help prevent the potential threat from becoming a reality.</p> <h2>Boredom can jolt you out of a rut</h2> <p>There is less research on boredom than many other emotions, so it is not as well understood. Researchers debate <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2023.02.002">what it is</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/bs3030459">what it does</a>.</p> <p>Boredom appears to occur when someone’s current situation is <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/bs3030459">not causing any other emotional response</a>. There are three situations <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-011-9234-9">where this lack can occur</a>: when emotions fade, such as the happiness of a new car fading to neutral; when people don’t care about anything in their current situation, such as being at a large party where nothing interesting is happening; or when people have no goals. Boredom does not necessarily set in just because nothing is happening – someone with a goal of relaxation might feel quite content sitting quietly with no stimulation.</p> <p>Psychology researchers think that the benefit of boredom in situations where people are not responding emotionally is that it <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo0000433">prompts making a change</a>. If nothing in your current situation is worth responding to, the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/jocb.154">aversive experience of boredom can motivate you</a> to seek new situations or change the way you’re thinking. Boredom has been related to more risk seeking, a desire for novelty, and creative thinking. It seems to function like an emotional stick, nudging people out of their current situation to explore and create.</p> <h2>Using the toolkit of emotion</h2> <p>People want to be happy. But research is finding that a satisfying and productive life includes a <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000292">mix of positive and negative emotions</a>. Negative emotions, even though they feel bad to experience, can motivate and prepare people for failure, challenges, threats and exploration.</p> <p>Pleasant or not, your emotions can help guide you toward better outcomes. Maybe understanding how they prepare you to handle various situations will help you feel better about feeling bad.<!-- 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/217654/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/heather-lench-1349234">Heather Lench</a>, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/texas-aandm-university-1672">Texas A&amp;M 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/anger-sadness-boredom-anxiety-emotions-that-feel-bad-can-be-useful-217654">original article</a>.</em></p>

Mind

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Tourist arrested for disgusting act at sacred UNESCO World Heritage Site

<p>A tourist has been arrested after he committed this disgusting act on top of the Leshan Giant Buddha, a sacred UNESCO World Heritage Site in China. </p> <p>The man allegedly found a blind spot away from CCTV cameras, climbed over the security fence and on top of the statue. </p> <p>Once he reached the top of the monuments head, he proceeded to pull down his pants and urinate in front of horrified visitors who filmed the act. </p> <p>Security guards quickly removed the unidentified man and handed him over to police, after being informed of his actions. </p> <p>It is reported that the man was taken to a nearby hospital for psychiatric evaluation.</p> <p>The UNESCO World Heritage Site itself is a 71-metre-tall monument, which is considered to be the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world. </p> <p>The Leshan Giant Buddha monument is located in the Sichuan Province of China, and was carved out of a cliff face between 713 and 803 AD. </p> <p>The statue and surrounding Mount Emei Scenic Area have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.</p> <p>This act is one of many incidences of tourists behaving badly across the world. </p> <p>In June 2023 a German tourist was detained after <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/tourist-accused-of-causing-over-8-000-in-damages-to-iconic-roman-statue" target="_blank" rel="noopener">climbing up</a> a 16th-century Fountain of Neptune, and was accused of causing over $8,000 in damages to the iconic statue. </p> <p>Prior to that, an Irish tourist landed himself into <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/tourist-busted-for-carving-name-into-world-s-most-famous-roman-relic" target="_blank" rel="noopener">trouble in Rome</a> after carving his and his girlfriend's name onto the walls of the Colosseum. </p> <p><em>Images: News.com.au</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Neighbours star’s cause of death revealed

<p>The entertainment industry continues to <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/gone-way-too-soon-neighbours-star-dead-at-48" target="_blank" rel="noopener">mourn the loss of Australian actor Troy Beckwith</a>, best known for his iconic roles in <em>Neighbours</em> and <em>Pugwall</em>.</p> <p>The news of his passing at the age of 48 has left his friends, family and fans devastated. Beckwith's career, marked by his mischievous charm and infectious laughter, will forever be remembered in the hearts of those who knew and admired him. Following widespread conjecture as the cause of Troy's death, one of the actor’s relatives, Shane Beckwith, finally addressed the rumours head on.</p> <p>“The family would like everyone to know that Troy fought a tough battle with cancer,” he said.</p> <p>Troy Beckwith's sister, Juanita Sanger (pictured), also took to social media to mourn her brother's passing. In a heartfelt post, she fondly recalled the joyous moments they shared growing up, highlighting Troy's free spirit and the countless stories that could fill a book. </p> <p>"I know Mum will be so happy to be reunited with her boy. Peace at last," she wrote, concluding the post with the poignant hashtag, "#cancersux".</p> <p>The news of Beckwith's death reverberated through social media, with friends and former co-stars sharing their grief. Selina Bonica, a friend and colleague, acknowledged the pain of losing Beckwith but expressed relief that he was now free from suffering. Kym Valentine, who worked with Beckwith on <em>Neighbours</em>, lamented the loss of a dear friend, saying that there would be no funeral, respecting Troy's wishes.</p> <p>Brett Blewitt, who played alongside Beckwith on <em>Neighbours</em>, remembered him as a "lovely person" with a deep sense of thoughtfulness and empathy. Lucinda Cowden, another <em>Neighbours</em> actress, conveyed her sadness with broken heart emojis. Ricky Fleming, Beckwith's co-star on the children's series <em>Pugwall</em>, shared a touching tribute, describing their adventures and the infectious joy Beckwith brought to those around him.</p> <p>Beckwith's acting career spanned several notable roles, including his portrayal of Michael Martin on <em>Neighbours</em> from 1991 to 1998, earning him recognition as one of the soap's most iconic villains, 'Sicko Micko'. He also made appearances in Blue Heelers and State Coroner. His talent extended to the realm of children's television, where he played Jeremy 'Bazza' Bazlington on Pugwall from 1989 to 1991.</p> <p><em>Image: Facebook</em></p>

Caring

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"Gone way too soon”: Neighbours star dead at 48

<p><em>Neighbours </em>star Troy Beckwith, who immortalised the infamous villain Michael Martin, has passed away at the age of 48.</p> <p>The news was confirmed by his former co-star, Kym Valentine, leaving the <em>Neighbours</em> community and fans around the world mourning the loss of a talented actor and cherished friend.</p> <p>Valentine took to social media to share the heartbreaking news, saying, “It pains me so much to have to say this. Our dear old friend Troy Beckwith has passed away.” The void left by his departure is felt deeply by those who knew him, with Valentine expressing sorrow over the untimely loss of another member of their TV family.</p> <p>“Another member of our TV family gone way too soon. There will be no funeral as per Troy’s request. Thanks for all the memories my cheeky mate and all my love to your friends and family.”</p> <p>Troy's character, "Sicko Micko", became an iconic figure in the world of <em>Neighbours</em> during his run from 1992 to 1998. Ausculture even likened him to "the Charles Manson of Ramsay Street" because of the profound impact he had on fans and the show's legacy. His portrayal of Michael Martin earned him a special place in the hearts of viewers, and he remains a fixture in lists ranking the best <em>Neighbours </em>characters of the 1990s.</p> <p>As the news spread, tributes poured in from fellow cast members and friends. Brett Stark actor Brett Blewitt, currently part of the <em>Neighbours</em> revival, shared his thoughts, describing Troy as a "lovely person" who was "deeply thoughtful and empathetic". The pain of the loss is palpable in Blewitt's words, echoing the sentiments of many who had the privilege of knowing Troy.</p> <p>Even as the <em>Neighbours</em> family grapples with the shock, Lucinda Cowden, who plays Melanie Pearson, expressed her sorrow through a series of broken heart emojis. The collective grief is evident, as the cast and crew mourn the departure of a talent gone too soon.</p> <p>Troy's friend Selina Laine Bonica reflected on the complexity of their relationship, saying, “Troy, you were a pain in my a**, but I loved you dearly. I’m just glad you’re free from pain.”</p> <p>Beckwith's impact extended beyond <em>Neighbours</em>, as evidenced by his role in the series <em>Pugwall</em>. Ricky Fleming, his co-star, paid tribute by remembering the mischievous adventures they shared, saying, “May you be in peace and still be the infectious joy of those who are in your presence now.”</p> <p>The absence of a cause of death only deepens the sense of loss, leaving fans to remember a talent that graced their screens and a person who touched the hearts of many. </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Caring

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What are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debts, and which should I pay off first?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/angel-zhong-1204643">Angel Zhong</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>With the cost of living soaring and many struggling to get a pay rise, it’s not surprising people are using debt to navigate life’s financial twists and turns.</p> <p>Owing money can sometimes feel challenging, but not all debts should keep you awake at night.</p> <p>So which debts are good and which are bad? And in what order should you pay them off? As it all depends on your personal circumstances, all I can offer is general information and not financial advice. Ideally, you should seek guidance from an accredited financial adviser. But in the meantime, here are some ideas to consider.</p> <h2>What is a ‘good debt’?</h2> <p>Good debts can be strategic tools and help build a solid foundation for your future. They usually increase your net worth by helping you generate income or buy assets that increase in value.</p> <p>With good debts, you usually get back more than what you pay for. They usually have lower interest rates and longer repayment terms. But personal finance is dynamic, and the line between good and bad debt can be nuanced. If not managed properly, even good debts can cause problems.</p> <p>Some examples of “good debts” might include:</p> <p><strong>Mortgages</strong>: A mortgage allows you to buy a house, which is an asset that generally increases in value over time. You may potentially get tax advantages, such as <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/forms-and-instructions/rental-properties-2023/other-tax-considerations">negative gearing</a>, through investment properties. However, it’s crucial not to overstretch yourself and turn a mortgage into a nightmare. As a rule of thumb, try avoid spending <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/select/mortgage-affordability/">more than 30% of your income</a> per year on your mortgage repayments.</p> <p><strong>Student loans</strong>: Education is an investment in yourself. Used well, student loans (such as <a href="https://www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans/hecs-help">HECS-HELP</a>) can be the ticket to a higher-paying job and better career opportunities.</p> <h2>What is a ‘bad debt’?</h2> <p>“Bad debts” undermine your financial stability and can hinder your financial progress. They usually come with high interest rates and short repayment terms, making them more challenging to pay off. They can lead to a vicious cycle of debt.</p> <p>Examples of bad debts include:</p> <p><strong>Payday loans</strong>: A payday loan offers a quick fix for people in a financial tight spot. However, their steep interest rates, high fees and tight repayment terms often end up worsening a person’s financial problems. The interest and fee you may end up paying can get close to the loan amount itself.</p> <p><strong>Credit card debt:</strong> Credit cards can be like quicksand for your finances. If you don’t pay off your purchase on time, you’ll be subject to an annual interest rate of around <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/">19.94%</a>. For a A$3,000 credit card debt, for example, that could mean paying nearly $600 annual interest. Carrying credit card debt from month to month can lead to a seemingly never-ending debt cycle.</p> <p><strong>Personal loans:</strong> People usually take personal loans from a bank to pay for something special, such as a nice holiday or a car. They often come with higher interest rates, averaging around <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/personal-loans">10%</a>. Spending money that you don’t have can lead to prolonged financial headaches.</p> <p><strong>Buy-now-pay-later services:</strong> Buy-now-pay-later services often provide interest-free instalment options for purchases. This can be tempting, but the account fees and late payment fees associated with buy-now-pay-later services can lead to a long-term financial hangover. The convenience and accessibility of buy-now-pay-later services can also make it easy to get further and further into debt.</p> <h2>So in what order should I pay off my debts?</h2> <p>There is no one right answer to this question, but here are three factors to consider.</p> <p><strong>Prioritise high-interest debts</strong>: Start by confronting the debts with the highest interest rates. This typically includes credit card debt and personal loans. Paying off high-interest debts first can save you money and reduce your total debt faster.</p> <p><strong>Negotiate interest rates or switch lenders:</strong> Don’t be shy. A simple call to your lender requesting a lower rate can make a significant difference. You may also take advantage of sign-on offers and refinancing your loan with a new lender. In the banking business, customers are not usually rewarded for their loyalty.</p> <p><strong>Consider different repayment strategies:</strong> Choose a debt repayment strategy that aligns with your preferences. Some people get a psychological boost from paying off smaller debts first (this is often called the “<a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/goals-credit/smarter-credit/manage-your-debt/snowball-vs-avalanche-paydown/#:%7E:text=The%20%22snowball%20method%2C%22%20simply,all%20accounts%20are%20paid%20off.">snowball method</a>”). Others focus on high-interest debts (often known as the “<a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/goals-credit/smarter-credit/manage-your-debt/snowball-vs-avalanche-paydown/#:%7E:text=The%20%22snowball%20method%2C%22%20simply,all%20accounts%20are%20paid%20off.">avalanche method</a>”). Find what works for you. The most important thing is to have a plan and stick to it.</p> <p>Review the terms of each debt carefully. Certain loans offer flexibility in repayment schedules, while others may impose penalties for early settlement. Take note of these conditions as you develop your repayment plan.</p> <p>Debt can be a useful tool or a dangerous trap, depending on how you use it. By understanding the difference between good and bad debts, and by having a smart strategy for paying them off, you can take charge of your financial future.<!-- 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/217779/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/angel-zhong-1204643"><em>Angel Zhong</em></a><em>, Associate Professor of Finance, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT 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/what-are-good-and-bad-debts-and-which-should-i-pay-off-first-217779">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Aussie mum's outrage over neighbour's "creepy" act

<p>An Aussie mum has slammed her neighbour for being a "creep" after spotting a surveillance camera which she claims is pointed directly into her bathroom window. </p> <p>A photo taken of the set-up showed the camera poking out from underneath the blinds behind a window on the property next door. </p> <p>"It was facing the car park, and now it's facing my window [and it has] been there for the last four days," she wrote in the Facebook post, adding that she lives on private property and is not sure what to do. </p> <p>"It's facing my bathroom window. Disgusting. I have two young kids here."</p> <p>The post blew up, with hundreds of locals urging the mum-of-two to speak to her neighbour, put privacy screens, or tint her windows, to which the mum responded: "I shouldn't have to tint my windows to feel safe enough to have a shower." </p> <p> "I live on private property, he comes off as a creep."</p> <p>Despite revealing that she had issues with the neighbour in the past over her dog, the woman went and talked to the neighbour. </p> <p>"[I] went and spoke with them," she wrote. </p> <p>"Apparently it's not facing my backyard, only theirs, but clearly it is, so I will be taking it further.</p> <p>"It isn't for a backyard, it's for a car park that never gets used, only during the weekdays, but it's not even pointing anywhere near that direction anymore. It's legit right into my windows."</p> <p>Property lawyer Monica Rouvella told <em>Yahoo News</em> that there are several things the woman could do if this continues.</p> <p>"One of them is to contact the local police and they can come out and actually request to view that person's footage to see exactly what's been looked at," she said. </p> <p> "And then the police can actually, I believe, request that the camera be taken down or repositioned."</p> <p>She also said the Hunter Valley mum could try going through local councils, but they might refer back to the police. </p> <p>"The other takeaway is, you know, these days everybody has a camera on their house," she told the publication. </p> <p>"So you know, if you don't like that then don't do things you shouldn't be doing. But yeah, if it is directed at a person's house or window then that's a violation of that person's privacy." </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Boss slammed for demanding "insane" farewell gift contribution

<p>A boss in London has been slammed after asking his employees to chip in almost $100 each for an expensive farewell gift for a co-worker. </p> <p>In a TikTok, London-resident Ben Askins read out the anonymous submission from one of the employees who was fed up after his manager “forced” everyone in the team to contribute because it was "compulsory". </p> <p>“Hey, noticed you hadn’t paid into the leaving present for Josh yet. Can you send me the £50 (AU$95) today? I want to put the purchase in by the end of the day,” the boss said in the text.</p> <p>Shocked by the "insane" amount of money, the employee replied: “Can I ask why it is so expensive?</p> <p>“Money is a little tight right now and to be asked to put in so much feels like a lot.”</p> <p>However, the manager didn't take his employee's financial situation into consideration, and said: “Josh has led the company for three years now and I think it’s nice gesture to show our appreciation.” </p> <p>The employee hit back: “I appreciate that but he makes so much more money than me and for me to be asked to put in so much feels weird especially as I never really worked with him”.</p> <p>But, the manager insisted that the employee needed to make a contribution. </p> <p>“This is compulsory I am afraid, it is not fair for me to ask some people and not others. Besides it isn’t that much all things considered," he said, and the employee conceded. </p> <p>It is unclear what happened after, but the texts have gone viral with over 2.2 million views thanks to Askins' <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@ben.askins/video/7307322849407028513" target="_blank" rel="noopener">video</a>.</p> <p>Askins, who’s a managing director and co-founder of a digital agency, weighed in on the ordeal. </p> <p>“I don’t like this at all. I don’t mind leaving presents as a concept, right? But companies should pay it,” he said.</p> <p>“Companies should take responsibility, set a budget and they should pay for themselves. If you want to get something small for your best mate at work, that’s totally different, that’s well within your right.</p> <p>“But this sort of compulsory, ‘everyone’s got to chip in’, I absolutely hate," he added. </p> <p>He also said that the manager's actions are "really poor" and asking for that amount "is just ridiculous, it’s an insane amount". </p> <p>“It might not be much money for him but it is clearly a lot for this person so it’s just not fair what he’s doing,” he concluded. </p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Retirement Life

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"Bad news": Jimmy Barnes rushed into emergency open heart surgery

<p>Jimmy Barnes has shared a major health update with his fans, just hours before heading into an emergency surgery. </p> <p>The iconic musician took to Instagram to share that he is set to undergo open heart surgery, after a dangerous infection was unable to be controlled. </p> <p>The 67-year-old, who has only recently recovered from pneumonia, announced the news from his hospital bed on Wednesday. </p> <p>"Unfortunately I got some bad news yesterday….despite everyone's best efforts the bacterial infection I've been battling over the last fortnight has apparently now spread to my heart," Barnes wrote.</p> <p>"It's infected an otherwise healthy valve that was replaced some years ago due to a congenital defect, so l'll be getting open heart surgery over the next few hours to clear out this infection and put in a clean valve."</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); 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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/C0xKOuBhSpS/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Jimmy Barnes (@jimmybarnesofficial)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>After announcing the news himself on social media, Barnes' son David Campbell spoke about his father's condition on <em><a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today/jimmy-barnes-undergoes-open-heart-surgery-after-bacterial-infection-spreads/f4c56d1e-cd25-4a2d-8b24-11b592a4aae8" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Today Extra</a></em>, saying his dad was more frustrated at letting his fans down than anything else.</p> <p>Just before being struck down with the infection, Barnes was due to headline the Rock the Boat 2023 cruise festival.</p> <p>"I am here to allay everyone's fears, he is in wonderful hands," Campbell said.</p> <p>"He loves to work and he is frustrated for the fans who have been booking tickets and coming to his shows, he is passionate about getting crews back up and running in Australia and performing with his band, but is grateful for the nurses and doctors and if he hadn't got bacterial pneumonia, he wouldn't have had this picked up."</p> <p>Campbell said the family were confident in the medical staff looking after his dad and said "it was a blessing" that the infection was picked up when it was. </p> <p>"He is in great hands and he will make a great recovery, so reach out to him on social media because all the love in the world will be good for him," he said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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"More bad days than good": Sad new pics of Bruce Willis emerge

<p>Bruce Willis' family are "soaking up every moment" with the Hollywood legend, as his health is continuing to deteriorate. </p> <p>The 68-year-old's family have shared new heartbreaking photos of the actor, which show a steep decline in his appearance and capabilities since the onset of his health issues. </p> <p>Willis was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia at the beginning of 2023, nearly one year after announcing his retirement from acting due to aphasia, which causes difficulties with speech.</p> <p>Since his diagnosis, his family have continued to share updates on the actor's condition.</p> <p>Now, a source close to the family has revealed that the star’s health has worsened in recent weeks, and now there are “more bad days” than good. </p> <p>“Bruce has good days and bad days, but in the last two months, there are many more bad days than good,” a source told <span id="U831940059013HOG"><em><a href="https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/how-bruce-willis-family-is-supporting-him-as-he-battles-dementia/">US Weekly</a></em>.</span></p> <p>“This experience has brought the whole family even closer together. No one knows how much time Bruce has left, so they’re soaking up every moment they get with him.”</p> <p>Another source added that the four-time Golden Globe winner “has around-the-clock care, but at least one family member is always with him.” </p> <p>The beloved Hollywood action star has been spending his days alongside his wife, Emma Heming, ex-wife Demi Moore, and their collective five children, who all care for him throughout his difficult health journey.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

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Gift-giving taboos that aren’t as bad as you think

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mary-steffel-213379">Mary Steffel</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/northeastern-university-1644">Northeastern University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/elanor-williams-213382">Elanor Williams</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/indiana-university-1368">Indiana University</a></em></p> <p>There are many social norms that dictate gift-giving, including when, how and what to give as gifts.</p> <p>Interestingly, these norms don’t seem to be about making sure that recipients get the gifts they want. What makes for a good or bad gift often differs in the eyes of givers and recipients.</p> <p>In fact, behavioral science research shows that gifts that may seem “taboo” to givers might actually be better appreciated by recipients than they might think.</p> <h2>Taboo #1: giving money</h2> <p>Givers often worry that giving cash or gift cards might be seen as impersonal, thoughtless or crass. Yet <a href="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5399fab2e4b083bff5af4518/t/5499c4fee4b0bb5843a0b371/1419363582068/Giver-Recipient+Discrepancies+in+Gift+Giving+Draft+12-17-14+FINAL.pdf">research</a> we have done with Robyn LeBoeuf of Washington University in St Louis shows that recipients prefer these more versatile gifts more than givers think they do.</p> <p>We find that givers underestimate how much recipients like seemingly impersonal monetary gifts, mistakenly thinking that they’ll prefer a traditional gift to a gift card, for instance, or a gift card to cash, when the opposite is true. And, contrary to givers’ expectations, recipients think that these less personal gifts are more thoughtful, too.</p> <p>Why don’t givers realize this? We find that givers tend to focus on recipients’ enduring traits and tastes and choose gifts that are tailored to those characteristics, and recipients are more likely to focus on their varying wants and needs and prefer gifts that give them the freedom to get whatever they currently need or desire most.</p> <p>Prompting givers to shift their focus from what recipients <em>are</em> like to what they <em>would</em> like makes them more likely to choose the versatile gifts that recipients prefer.</p> <h2>Taboo #2: giving a practical gift</h2> <p>A classic sitcom plotline involves the <a href="http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GiftGivingGaffe">gift-giving gaffe</a>, with a prime example being the husband who buys his wife a vacuum cleaner or something else practical when the occasion seems to call for something more sentimental.</p> <p>These blundering husbands might not be as wrong as you’d think, though: research suggests that practical gifts are actually better-liked by recipients than givers expect. For instance, <a href="https://msbfile03.usc.edu/digitalmeasures/wakslak/intellcont/baskin%20wakslak%20trope%20novemsky%20(2014)-1.pdf">research</a> by Ernest Baskin of Saint Joseph’s University and colleagues demonstrates that givers tend to focus on how desirable a gift is, when recipients might prefer they think a little more about how easy that gift is to use.</p> <p>A gift certificate to the best restaurant in the state might not be so great a gift if it takes three hours to get there; your recipient might think that a gift certificate to a less noteworthy but closer restaurant is actually a better gift.</p> <p>In fact, even gifts that aren’t much fun at all, like the fabled vacuum cleaner, can make for great gifts in recipients’ eyes. <a href="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/50a5e160e4b0e80bad9bfe3d/t/567755bbc21b8664a205e822/1450661307640/SJDM+2015+Submission_ER_EFW.pdf">Work</a> that Williams has done with Emily Rosenzweig of Tulane University shows that recipients have a stronger preference for useful rather than fun gifts than givers expect them to have.</p> <p>We find that the best gifts people have received are much more useful than the best gifts they think they have given, and they want givers to put less emphasis on the fun features of a gift and more emphasis on its useful features than they themselves would when picking out a gift to give to someone else.</p> <h2>Taboo #3: giving an ‘uncreative’ gift</h2> <p>Givers often feel pressure to think of creative gifts that demonstrate how much thought they put into the gift and how well they know the recipient.</p> <p>This means that, even when they are given explicit instructions on what to purchase, givers frequently ignore recipients’ wish lists or gift registries and instead try to come up with ideas for gifts by themselves. Givers think that their unsolicited gift ideas will be appreciated just as much as the ideas on wish lists and registries, but <a href="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/55dcde36e4b0df55a96ab220/t/55e746dee4b07156fbd7f6bd/1441220318875/Gino+Flynn+JESP+2011.pdf">recipients would rather</a> have the gifts they requested.</p> <p>Another implication of this is that givers often pass up gifts they know would be better-liked in favor of getting different gifts for each person they give a gift to, according to <a href="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5399fab2e4b083bff5af4518/t/539a15b3e4b0bf580fb57539/1402607027977/SteffelLeBoeuf2014.pdf">research</a> by Steffel and LeBoeuf. Givers feel like they are being more thoughtful by getting something unique and creative for each person on their shopping list, but recipients would rather have what’s on the top of their wish list, especially if they are unlikely to compare gifts.</p> <p>We find that encouraging givers to consider what recipients would choose for themselves before choosing a gift makes them more likely to go ahead and get the same better-liked gift for more than one recipient.</p> <h2>Taboo #4: giving a gift that can’t be unwrapped</h2> <p>The very idea of exchanging gifts suggests to people that they need to give something that can be tied up with a pretty bow and then unwrapped, but, in fact, some of the best gifts aren’t things at all.</p> <p>A <a href="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5394dfa6e4b0d7fc44700a04/t/547d589ee4b04b0980670fee/1417500830665/Gilovich+Kumar+Jampol+%28in+press%29+A+Wonderful+Life+JCP.pdf">wealth of research</a> has shown that money is often better spent on experiences than on material goods, and this seems to be true for gifts as well as personal purchases.</p> <p>Joseph Goodman of Washington University in St Louis and Sarah Lim of Seoul National University <a href="http://apps.olin.wustl.edu/faculty/goodman/Giving%20Happiness.pdf">have found</a> that givers think that material items that can be physically exchanged and unwrapped make for better gifts, when gifts that are experiences actually make recipients happier.</p> <p>Experiential gifts have benefits beyond simply boosting their recipients’ enjoyment, as well. Cindy Chan of the University of Toronto and Cassie Mogilner of the University of Pennsylvania <a href="https://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/-/media/Files/Programs-and-Areas/Marketing/papers/ChanMogilner2013.pdf">have shown</a> that receiving an experiential gift prompts stronger emotional reactions in recipients, and this makes them feel closer to the person who gave them the gift. In other words, opt for the swing dance lessons over the sweater – it will make the recipient happier, and bring the two of you closer together, to boot.</p> <h2>If you still can’t think of a gift…</h2> <p>Gift-giving, especially around the holidays, can be a stressful process for both giver and recipient. An understanding of which gift-giving norms are misguided can perhaps relieve some of this stress and lead to better gifts and happier recipients (and givers, too).</p> <p>But even if givers ignore this advice, there is hope: one last taboo to bust is the taboo on regifting. According Gabrielle Adams of the London Business School and colleagues, givers <a href="http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/adams%20flynn%20norton.pdf">aren’t as bothered</a> by regifting as recipients think.</p> <p>Even if what you get is not what you want, you can pass it along to someone else, and hope that next time, the norms will work in your favor.<!-- 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/52293/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/mary-steffel-213379"><em>Mary Steffel</em></a><em>, Assistant Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/northeastern-university-1644">Northeastern University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/elanor-williams-213382">Elanor Williams</a>, Assistant Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/indiana-university-1368">Indiana 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/gift-giving-taboos-that-arent-as-bad-as-you-think-52293">original article</a>.</em></p>

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How does Australia’s health system stack up internationally? Not bad, if you’re willing to wait for it

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-duckett-10730">Stephen Duckett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>When things are going bad in the health system, we are reassured we’ve got one of the best health systems in the world. But we’re rarely told where we actually stand relative to others.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.oecd.org/health/health-at-a-glance/">new report</a> from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows where Australia is doing relatively well – and not so well. The report is more than 200 pages with dozens of charts and tables.</p> <p>Here we highlight five charts showing Australia’s relative performance. Overall, Australia’s health system performs well, but can come after long waits. And our use of antibiotics is trending in the wrong direction.</p> <h2>1. We spend less than average but live longer than average</h2> <p>Despite the rhetoric about the unsustainability of the health system, Australia performs well. When mapping health expenditure against life expectancy, Australia (marked by the red dot) sits in the best performing quadrant – and has done so for the past decade.</p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-996" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/996/32f7548791bf05b7559d74976bfa0b955319adc5/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>In contrast, the United States is stuck in the worst performing quadrant for the whole period – significantly higher spending than other countries with worse life expectancy.</p> <p>The life expectancy measure is used here but it involves an implicit assumption that the principal impact on life expectancy is from the health system, which is not really the case. Nevertheless, it is a good measure of overall system performance and combined with spending provides a good measure.</p> <h2>2. Most Australians rate their health as good or very good</h2> <p>The vast majority of Australians (about 85%) rate their health as good or very good, with Australia performing better on this metric than most other similar countries. Often good health is conflated with good health care, and the data show that Australia also has more doctors per head than other countries.</p> <p><iframe id="Ygo7Z" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/Ygo7Z/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The founding charter of the World Health Organization (WHO) recognised that health is not just the absence of disease, but a “<a href="https://www.who.int/about/accountability/governance/constitution">state of complete physical, mental and social well-being</a>”. This points to a flaw in the nexus between good health and more health professionals. The WHO focus on well-being helps to explain why it is not surprising that, looking across countries, the number of doctors doesn’t appear to be a key determinant of performance on self-rated health.</p> <h2>3. It’s harder to get a bed in aged care</h2> <p>About 30% of people in OECD countries are over 65, while the Australian proportion is about 20%. The proportion of over-65s is rising everywhere.</p> <p>A minority of older Australians (14%) use aged care, with most of these using home care. However, monitoring access to residential aged care (represented here by the number of long-term care beds per thousand population over 65) might act as a “canary in the coal mine”, highlighting where access problems exist.</p> <p><iframe id="lBe4O" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/lBe4O/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>In Australia, access to aged care beds is falling, by about 27% between 2011 and 2021. We started in the middle of the pack so this is a concern and probably contributes to more Australians being stuck in acute hospitals, rather than being in more appropriate accommodation in residential aged care. This “<a href="https://www.ama.com.au/articles/hospital-exit-block-symptom-sick-system">exit block</a>” in turn leads to problems of ambulance ramping.</p> <h2>4. Australians wait too long for public hospital hip replacements</h2> <p>Most publicly funded health systems are characterised by long waiting times for access to planned procedures such as hip replacements. Some waiting is to be expected as part of efficient management of operating theatre scheduling. But long waits, especially when the person is in pain, reflect poorly on management of the public hospital system.</p> <p><iframe id="LNntD" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/LNntD/2/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The data shows that almost two-thirds of people waiting for hip replacement surgery in Australia waited more than three months. This is marginally worse than the OECD average. Unfortunately, our performance is deteriorating.</p> <p>A number of states, such as <a href="https://www.health.vic.gov.au/planned-surgery-reform-blueprint">Victoria</a>, have developed strategies to improve the performance of the planned procedure system, or have identified opportunities for <a href="https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/about+us/about+sa+health/reporting+and+advisory+groups/health+performance+council/health+performance+council+reports">efficiency improvements in public hospitals</a> which would help address this issue.</p> <p>Although it’s understandable that <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2049080122011554">planned procedures were affected</a> by the first few years of the COVID pandemic, governments should have adapted their funding and provision systems to bring waiting times back to the pre-pandemic levels.</p> <h2>5. Our use of antibiotics is going in the wrong direction</h2> <p>Antibiotics have saved millions of lives. But public health experts have long recognised the emerging <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antimicrobial-resistance">problem of antimicrobial resistance</a>, where inappropriate use of these drugs can lead to their reduced effectiveness over time.</p> <p>Worldwide campaigns to promote appropriate use of antibiotics are bearing fruit and across the OECD, use of antibiotics is going down.</p> <p>Unfortunately, Australia’s trend is in the reverse direction.</p> <p><iframe id="AK4GO" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/AK4GO/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe><!-- 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/218031/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/stephen-duckett-10730">Stephen Duckett</a>, Honorary Enterprise Professor, School of Population and Global Health, and Department of General Practice, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>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-does-australias-health-system-stack-up-internationally-not-bad-if-youre-willing-to-wait-for-it-218031">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Former Neighbours star’s stunning Yarra Valley wedding

<p>In a celebration filled with love, laughter and music, singer and former <em>Neighbours</em> star Bonnie Anderson tied the knot with her beau, Samuel Morrison, in a breathtaking ceremony at the enchanting Acacia Ridge Vineyard in Yarra Valley, Victoria.</p> <p>The 29-year-old songstress and her landscaper husband exchanged vows in the presence of their closest family and friends, marking the beginning of a beautiful journey together.</p> <p>The radiant bride walked down the aisle in a sleeveless, halter-neck lace gown crafted by the talented Australian designer Jason Grech, while the dashing groom looked ever so handsome in a classic black tuxedo. The picturesque vineyard provided the perfect backdrop for this special day, creating an atmosphere of pure magic and romance.</p> <p>Sharing their joy with the world, Anderson captioned the first wedding photo on Instagram with the simple yet powerful words, "Mr and Mrs Morrison."</p> <p>The newlyweds flooded their social media with countless photos and videos, giving fans a glimpse into the magical celebration of their love.</p> <p>During the reception, the talented bride took the stage once again, not only as a singer but as a romantic lyricist. Anderson serenaded her new husband with a heartfelt song she had written especially for him, creating an unforgettable moment as their guests gathered around to witness their love story unfold.</p> <p>The celebration continued inside a marquee on the sprawling estate, where the bridesmaids, adorned in elegant black satin gowns, kicked off the festivities with a rehearsed entrance set to the iconic Beyoncé hit, "Single Ladies". Dinner was served, and the atmosphere was electric as the bride treated the guests to her musical prowess before the DJ took over, transforming the evening into a dance-filled extravaganza.</p> <p>In a pre-wedding interview with the <em>Herald Sun</em>, Anderson expressed her desire for the celebration to be a "big party" filled with entertainment and music, and she certainly delivered on that promise. Life may be chaotic as a mum, singer and wedding organiser, but for Bonnie Anderson, the chaos is well worth the joy that comes with looking forward to the future.</p> <p>The couple, who had already welcomed their bundle of joy, Bobby, in December the previous year, radiated happiness and love throughout the day. Anderson, who found fame at the tender age of 12 as the first winner of <em>Australia's Got Talent</em> in 2007, has come a long way, gracing the screens of <em>Neighbours</em> from 2018 to 2021. Now, as Bonnie Morrison, she begins a new chapter in her fairy tale alongside Samuel.</p> <p>As they dance into the rest of their lives together, Bonnie and Samuel Morrison serve as a testament to the enduring power of love, the magic of music, and the joy of sharing life's grandest moments with those who matter most. Cheers to the newlyweds, and may their journey be filled with endless love, laughter, and, of course, more unforgettable music!</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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Aussie couple touched by neighbours kind response to crying baby

<p>A Western Australia mum has shared the incredibly touching response her neighbour gave in response to her baby's crying. </p> <p>Amy Mark took to Facebook to share a photo of the note and a bundle of baby supplies that was left by her neighbour at her front door on Wednesday. </p> <p>"Hey, we are your neighbours from behind you," the note read.</p> <p>"We have heard your little bub crying a few times and thought we would drop off some nappies and wipes as we know how tough the early days are!</p> <p>"We hope this brightens your day," the note concluded. </p> <p>Amy captioned the photo: "Our neighbours left this note at our front door along with some nappies and wipes. Thank you for your kindness and being patient with the noise of a crying newborn." </p> <p>The mum told <em>Daily Mail Australia </em>that their newborn is often restless and night and struggles to fall asleep until 10pm. </p> <p>"We were worried about keeping the neighbours awake but it’s warming to know that some people understand the nighttime struggle," she told the publication. </p> <p>"A lot of parents have it harder than we do so we are grateful for the kind gesture and plan to pay it forward."</p> <p>Thousands of Aussies took to the comments to applaud the kind neighbours and also offered their sympathy for the new parents. </p> <p>"More people should be neighbours like this," one wrote. </p> <p>"What wonderful neighbours to have. That brought tears to my eyes," another commented. </p> <p>"Gifts and understanding, what more can you ask for?" a third added. </p> <p>A few other mum's took to the comments to share their experiences with thoughtful neighbours. </p> <p>One mum wrote: "I had a lovely neighbour who used to come hold and cuddle my twins while we chatted and it helped me get a few things done." </p> <p><em>Image: Facebook</em></p> <p> </p>

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