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Anti-cellulite products are big business – but here’s what the science says

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rebecca-shepherd-423135">Rebecca Shepherd</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p>Although <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jocd.14815">90% of women have cellulite</a>, we’re yet to see it represented as a normal anatomical characteristic in popular culture. In Greta Gerwig’s 2023 Hollywood blockbuster, for instance, Stereotypical Barbie, played by Margot Robbie, develops dimples on her upper thigh as part of her existential crisis – along with other human faults such as halitosis, flat feet and irrepressible thoughts of death.</p> <p>When Stereotypical Barbie asks doll sage Weird Barbie what the dimples are, she explains: “That’s cellulite. That’s going to spread everywhere. Then you’re going to start getting sad and mushy and complicated.” Barbie’s perfect smooth plastic perfection is marred.</p> <p>Despite its prevalence, then, cellulite has been constructed as a flaw in need of correction. Consumers, it seems, agree, especially when fed a diet of the <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21604851.2021.1913827">photoshop smoothed skin</a> of models, social media influencers – and Hollywood stars.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rmThigh1i8s?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">“NO!” Barbie shouts when Weird Barbie tells her she has cellulite.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>Cellulite’s usually found in areas that have greater amounts of subcutaneous fat, when fat deposits push through the connective tissue beneath the skin, leading to a lumpy appearance. It is common, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0738081X1300076X?via%3Dihub">usually painless</a> and harmless.</p> <p>The human skin is the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-skin-is-a-very-important-and-our-largest-organ-what-does-it-do-91515">body’s largest organ</a>, made up of three layers. At the surface, the epidermis acts as our first line of defence against the environment. This outermost, impermeable layer is made up of cells that are constantly renewed and shed, protecting our body from external elements.</p> <p>Beneath the epidermis lies the dermis, a robust layer containing fibroblasts, the cells responsible for producing essential proteins such as collagen and elastin. These proteins provide structure and elasticity, contributing to the skin’s strength and flexibility.</p> <p>Deeper still is the hypodermis, also known as the subcutaneous layer. This layer is rich in adipose tissue – mostly made up of fat, which plays a crucial role in cushioning and insulating the body, as well as storing fat that can be used when needed. Beneath these three layers of skin, there is muscle. Running from the muscle to the dermis are <a href="https://journals.lww.com/amjdermatopathology/fulltext/2000/02000/cellulite__from_standing_fat_herniation_to.7.aspx">bands of connective tissue</a>, that holds the adipose tissue in “pockets”.</p> <p>Cellulite does not affect health, although some people report that it affects their <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07853890.2018.1561731">self-esteem and body image</a> but that’s more to do with the social pressure on women to be physically perfect – or spend money, time and energy trying to be as close to perfect as possible.</p> <p>Cellulite, then, has become big business for the beauty industry. In the lead up to summer especially, companies will promote <a href="https://www.asa.org.uk/advice-online/weight-control-cellulite.html">all manner of products</a> from creams and serums to gadgets and pills, all aimed at creating perfectly smooth limbs. The most popular question seems to be, “Do these treatments work?” but as an anatomist I think the more pressing question is, “Why are healthy women’s bodies considered something to treat, cure or correct?”</p> <p>The beauty and wellness industry has long capitalised on societal standards of beauty. The idea that cellulite is undesirable and <a href="https://journals.lww.com/dermatologicsurgery/abstract/1978/03000/So_Called_Cellulite.9.aspx">should be corrected</a> has been perpetuated since Vogue magazine was the <a href="https://archive.vogue.com/article/1968/4/cellulite-the-new-word-for-fat-you-couldnt-lose-before">first English language magazine</a> to use the term “cellulite”, introducing the concept to thousands of women. This marketing strategy taps into the insecurities of consumers, particularly women, and promotes an endless pursuit of “perfection” for bodies that have normal anatomical variation.</p> <p>By framing cellulite as a condition that needs treatment, companies can sell a wide range of products and services, bolstered by celebrity endorsements, which lend credibility and aspirational value to pseudo-medical “smoothing” products. However, there is limited scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of these supplements in treating cellulite. In fact, the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1524-4725.1978.tb00416.x">first scientific paper</a> on cellulite, published in 1978, referred to it as “so called cellulite: the invented disease”.</p> <p>Recent product launches include, <a href="https://lemmelive.com/en-gb/products/lemme-smooth-capsules?variant=45597048111318">Lemme Smooth</a>, Kourtney Kardashian-Barker’s latest addition to her vitamin and supplement range. The product’s promotional materials claim that the capsule “visibly reduces cellulite in 28 days”. But what does the science tell us?</p> <p>Supplements like Lemme Smooth claim to improve skin texture and reduce cellulite from within. Kardashian-Barker’s supplement contains a mixture of <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10298-015-0977-4">french cantaloupe melon</a>, hyaluronic acid, chromium and vitamin C among other ingredients. The body’s ability to absorb and utilise these ingredients in a way that would impact cellulite is still a subject of debate.</p> <p>There is evidence that <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4110621/#:%7E:text=In%20a%20randomized%2C%20double%2Dblind,in%20part%2C%20to%20the%20skin.">ingested hyaluronic acid</a> can migrate into the skin, stimulating the production of collagens within the dermis – and vitamin C has been shown to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-72704-1">thicken the surface layer</a> of the skin. However, the lack of standardisation in testing for the use of these ingredients in the treatment of cellulite means it’s still not clear if they will have a <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-2494.2006.00318.x">significant effect</a>.</p> <p>Other products marketed to reduce the appearance of cellulite include topical creams and lotions, containing ingredients like <a href="https://karger.com/books/book/763/chapter-abstract/5600478/Specific-Use-Cosmeceuticals-for-Body-Skin-Texture?redirectedFrom=fulltext">caffeine, retinol, and herbal extracts</a>. Cosmetic products are not able to penetrate the epidermis enough to significantly affect the underlying fat deposits and connective tissue.</p> <p>Some invasive treatments, such as <a href="https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/fat-removal/cellulite-treatments-what-really-works">laser therapy, subcision, and acoustic wave therapy</a> can offer more promising results. These procedures work by breaking down the connective tissue bands that cause dimpling and stimulating collagen production in the dermis to improve skin elasticity. While these methods <a href="https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/fat-removal/cellulite-treatments-what-really-works">may be more effective</a>, they are often expensive, require multiple sessions to achieve results – and aren’t without risk.</p> <p>Maintaining a healthy diet, drinking lots of water, and regular physical activity can help improve the overall appearance of the skin and reduce the visibility of cellulite. Losing weight and strengthening the muscles in the legs, buttocks and abdomen may make cellulite less noticeable, but it won’t make it <a href="https://jndc-chemistryarticles.info/ijn/article/318">disappear altogether</a>.</p> <p>The bottom line, though, is that cellulite does not need to be treated. It’s a normal anatomical variation that’s been transformed into a condition driving a lucrative market for cures <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40257-015-0129-5">that don’t exist</a>.</p> <p>My top expert advice in the run up to summer? Be wary of claims from cosmetic companies and save your money.</p> <hr /> <p><em>The Conversation has approached the Lemme Live brand for comment.</em><!-- 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/232318/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/rebecca-shepherd-423135">Rebecca Shepherd</a>, Senior Lecturer in Human Anatomy, School of Anatomy, <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/anti-cellulite-products-are-big-business-but-heres-what-the-science-says-232318">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

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Woman’s “selfish” business class upgrade divides the internet

<p dir="ltr">A woman has divided the internet after telling how she snagged an upgrade on her way home from a holiday, leaving her partner and his child in economy. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 30-year-old woman shared the story of how she landed the controversial upgrade, but explained to her social media followers that there is more to the story than meets the eye. </p> <p dir="ltr">She began by explaining that she had booked a 10-day holiday with her partner, who she called Matt, who she had been dating for one year. </p> <p dir="ltr">The couple wanted to spend some time together, but were joined by Matt’s younger son, who she called Alex, from his previous relationship. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Every now and then I would look after Alex when Matt was at work — we don’t live together but they stay at mine every now and then,” the woman explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">Due to family circumstances, Alex had to join the couple on holiday, as she explained, “The flights were over eight hours long and I have booked the tickets for all of us.”  </p> <p dir="ltr">During the flight to their destination, and throughout their whole holiday, the woman explained that she spent most of the time looking after Alex while Matt had “the time of his life”. </p> <p dir="ltr">While the couple were on holiday, the woman discovered that Matt had been unfaithful, and had been cheating on her through most of their relationship. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Some things came to my attention — he was still seeing his ex — which resulted in us breaking up at the end of our stay,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">On the flight back home, the three were sitting together when a flight attendant approached her ex, asking if he wanted an upgrade to business class, but before he could respond, the woman interjected.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I mentioned it was me who bought the tickets and used my own account to pay for them, so an upgrade should go to me,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The flight attendant was trying to argue at first, as she assumed Alex was my child.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“But I told her that’s not the case, and ended up having an upgrade so I can relax after spending all this time looking after Alex.”</p> <p dir="ltr">When they landed, Matt made comments the woman had been “an a**hole” and “selfish”, while some passengers made similar comments. </p> <p dir="ltr">The woman shared the story to Reddit, asking social media users if she was in the wrong by taking the upgrade and was met with mixed responses. </p> <p dir="ltr">One person said, “Damn that sucks... paying for a flight, in a breakup, taking care of a child on YOUR vacation. You by no means are the a******, hell the audacity of the ex is unbelievable. It just p***es me off so much that I can’t even begin to imagine your frustration.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Another added, “I bet it was nice to put some space between you and your brand new ex with such a long flight, too. What was he going to do, take the upgrade and leave his young kid with the woman who he just broke up with? There’s no world in which that makes any kind of sense.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Others suggested the biggest culprit in the situation was actually the flight attendant.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Why would it be ok to leave the mum with the kid but not the dad? Why did they not first offer it to the person who bought the tickets as that’s where the priority should’ve been?” one said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, one person pointed out: “Let this be a lesson."</p> <p dir="ltr">“Never take care of someone’s kid your whole holiday and let them have the time of their lives. You should have let him handle everything concerning his kid except some play time. I would be fuming.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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“Selfish” husband leaves wife behind for first class upgrade on their honeymoon

<p dir="ltr">A woman has shared her frustration over a journey she took with her new husband to their honeymoon destination. </p> <p dir="ltr">The wife’s “selfish” husband was quick to ditch her on their way to Mexico for their honeymoon after he was offered an upgrade to business class. </p> <p dir="ltr">The woman took to Reddit to share the story of what began at the airport shortly after their wedding, while also explaining that as a frequent flyer, she had racked up a hefty amount of points. </p> <p dir="ltr">In comparison, her new husband is an anxious flyer, who often relies on her to keep him calm during take off and landing. </p> <p dir="ltr">“When I booked our flights I requested to use my points if an upgrade to business class became available, but made it clear I only wanted this upgrade if two seats became available... and then I basically forgot about it,” the wife explained in a Reddit thread.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Then comes the day of our flight. I was so excited for this trip, I checked us in online, all is going well, and then when we go to board, the employee scanning our boarding passes stops us.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“She says it seems that my husband was upgraded to business class, but only him and asks if that is okay.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The wife immediately replied, “No, we are on our honeymoon and would like to stay together”, however, her husband interjected, saying, “No it’s fine, I’ll go to business class.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Approximately 500 of her hard earned points went to his upgrade, while she was left alone in economy for the trip. </p> <p dir="ltr">Stunned by his response, she said: “I look at him in complete shock and he tells me that I fly all the time and have been in business class before, but he hasn’t. So he deserves a chance to experience it.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I see we are holding up the line, so I feel like I just need to agree and get on the plane.</p> <p dir="ltr">“To say I am p***ed off is an understatement.”</p> <p dir="ltr">After boarding the flight, the woman became overcome with emotion over her new husband’s actions. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Within maybe five to 10 minutes of sitting there, trying to hold back tears because my husband left me alone on our flight during our honeymoon — and use my points for his upgrade no less, he starts to text me saying he feels anxiety over flying.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Instead of expressing sympathy, she decided to ignore his texts.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I stopped looking at my phone,” the wife said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Just one hour into the flight, her husband began looking for her in economy class.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He comes to the back of the plane to find me, offers me half of his business class breakfast and asks me why I was ignoring him... because he was scared and needed me to tell him it’d be okay since I am such an experienced flyer,” she explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I told him maybe he should have thought about that before leaving me alone before our honeymoon even really began.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“He gets angry, tells me that this may be the only time he gets to fly business class and he was giving me half his breakfast to make up for it so I could at least be supportive of his genuine fear.”</p> <p dir="ltr">When they landed in Mexico, she tried to just “move on and forget” about what her husband did so they could enjoy their honeymoon.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But he guilt tripped me about not comforting him via text before take off and now I am wondering if I am being unreasonable and should have just let him enjoy his time in business class and assure him it’d be okay?” she wondered.</p> <p dir="ltr">She asked the internet whether she was being the a**hole for not being supportive of her husband.</p> <p dir="ltr">Many jumped to the wife’s defence, with one suggesting, “Definitely not the a**hole. Tell your husband actions have consequences and since he wanted to be in business class without you, he gets to fly without you. The fact he did this on your honeymoon trip just makes it worse.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Flight cancelled after parents demand free upgrade for their child

<p dir="ltr">A flight was delayed for hours before being ultimately cancelled after two parents demanded that their child was upgraded to first class for free. </p> <p dir="ltr">A plane in China was grounded for three hours after the parents caused a ruckus with the cabin crew, and were eventually kicked off the aircraft. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to a fellow passenger, the argument kicked off when an unsupervised child began to sob uncontrollably after boarding a flight from Chengdu to Beijing. </p> <p dir="ltr">As it turned out, the inconsolable toddler’s parents were seated in first class but had only bought their child an economy ticket.</p> <p dir="ltr">It was then that the angry dad confronted the staff, demanding that his son be moved to first class at no extra cost.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the <em>South China Morning Post</em>, the irate dad explained that because he had already paid for two first class tickets, his child’s upgrade should be free. </p> <p dir="ltr">In the clip shot by a fellow passenger, the outraged dad began berating a group of passengers, crew members, and security guards as they repeatedly explained why his child isn’t entitled to an upgrade.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Stop swearing at me,” fumed the father. “You have no right to do that.”</p> <p dir="ltr">When a security guard attempts to de-escalate the situation, the parent lays into him, shouting: “What gives you the right to order me about?”</p> <p dir="ltr">This prompts a woman to retort: “You’ve wasted too much of our time and we won’t tolerate it any longer.”</p> <p dir="ltr">After three hours of back and forth, the couple were eventually kicked off the plane, while the flight was cancelled. </p> <p dir="ltr">The entitled passenger has since been rinsed on social media with one commenter fuming, “This man is so selfish.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Others suggested solutions for the father that didn’t involve the airline giving the man an extra first-class seat.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He can switch seats,” advised one person. “Let him sit in economy class, and have the mum take care of the child in the first-class cabin.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Some on social media were quick to chastise the airline for their handling of the situation, with one person writing, “Keeping the quarrel going for hours? The problem-solving skills of the crew are poor.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Twitter</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-dd8af609-7fff-7da2-9017-179b6317cd24"></span></p>

Travel Trouble

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Eye-watering price tag for "remarkable" first class Titanic menu

<p>A first class dinner menu from the Titanic has been found and sold at an auction in England for £84,000 (around $162,000 AUD) on November 11. </p> <p>The water-stained menu was dated April 11, 1912 just three days before the ship hit an iceberg, ultimately meeting it's ill-fated end causing over 1500 deaths. </p> <p>Wealthy passengers at the time were spoiled with choice, with oysters, salmon, beef, squab (baby pigeon), spring lamb among other dishes on the menu, and that's not including dessert. </p> <p>Auctioneers Henry Aldridge &amp; Son said it was unclear how the menu made it off the ship intact, but the slight water damage suggests that it was recovered from the body of a victim. </p> <p>The rare artefact, which is over 111 years old belonged to amateur historian Len Stephenson, from Nova Scotia, Canada, who passed away in 2017. </p> <p>No one knew he had it, including his family, who only discovered it after going through his belongings following his death. </p> <p>“About six months ago his daughter and his son-in-law, Allen, felt the time was right to go through his belongings,” auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said. </p> <p>“As they did they found this menu in an old photo album.</p> <p>“Len was a very well thought-of historian in Nova Scotia which has strong connections with the Titanic. The body recovery ships were from Nova Scotia and so all the victims were taken back there.</p> <p>“Sadly, Len has taken the secret of how he acquired this menu to the grave with him.”</p> <p>Stephenson worked at a post office and would talk to people, collect old pictures and write letters for them, which might be how he got the rare artefact. </p> <p>According to the auctioneer, no other first class dinner menus dated April 11, 1912 have been recovered from the titanic making this “a remarkable survivor from the most famous Ocean liner of all time”.</p> <p>“There are a handful of April 14 menus in existence but you just don’t see menus from April 11. Most of them would have gone down with the ship,” Aldridge said. </p> <p>“Whereas with April 14 menus, passengers would have still had them in their coat and jacket pockets from earlier on that fateful night and still had them when they were taken off the ship," he added. </p> <p>A few other items recovered from the Titanic were also sold, including a Swiss-made pocket watch recovered from passenger Sinai Kantor which fetched £97,000 (around $187,000 AUD). </p> <p>A tartan-patterned deck blanket, which was likely used during the rescue operation also sold for £96,000 (around $185,000). </p> <p><em>Images: Henry Aldridge &amp; Son of Devizes, Wiltshire</em></p> <p> </p>

Cruising

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"You've been bumped": Vietnam vet slams Qantas for booting him from business class

<p dir="ltr">Qantas has come under fire for booting a Vietnam war veteran from his paid seat in business class so that a young Qantas "tech" – later revealed to be a pilot – could travel in the luxury seat in his place.</p> <p dir="ltr">Stephen Jones, 78, and his wife were travelling home to Adelaide after a holiday in Christchurch. Their flight was passing through Melbourne on its way to their home in Adelaide, and the pair were enjoying coffee in the Melbourne airport lounge – just 30 minutes before they were set to continue their journey – when they were given the bad news by Qantas staff.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I went up to the desk and the Qantas employee there said, 'I've got some bad news for you, you've been bumped'," Mr Jones told Melbourne’s <em><a href="https://www.3aw.com.au/vietnam-war-veteran-booted-from-business-class-for-younger-qantas-employee/">3AW</a></em> radio program with Ross & Russ. </p> <p dir="ltr">"It didn't register at first," continued Mr Jones. "I wasn't quite sure what 'bumped' meant... I said, 'What?', and she said, 'Yes, I'll have to re-issue your ticket for economy class. We have a tech who's flying to Adelaide and his contract states that he must fly Business Class."</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Jones then explained that while he retreated to his economy seat, the Qantas employee was seated next to his wife up in business class, and that "he wouldn't even look at her".</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Jones went on to explain that, after filing a letter of complaint, he was offered 5000 Frequent Flyer points in return for the downgrade and an apology.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Jones, who served in Vietnam in a combat unit in the 1960s, claimed he turned down the offer of 5000 points, saying, “I don’t think anything is going to change until there’s ramifications for Qantas, or costs for Qantas when they upset their customers.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Justin Lawrence, Partner at Henderson Ball Lawyers, later told the 3AW radio show hosts that there’s little customers can do about such a move by the airline and said it was “standard operating procedure”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Unfortunately, their terms of carriage allow them to do this sort of thing – this happens so often they’ve actually got a term for it, buckle up, they call this 'involuntary downgrading,'” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They’ll overprescribe business class or first class, they will need to bump someone out, and they’ll do it almost immediately prior to the flight – not just Qantas, they all do it."</p> <p dir="ltr">“Any time you go to a travel agent or online to Qantas to buy a seat, and we think we’re buying a seat in a particular class, there are no guarantees that when that plane takes off, you’ll be sitting in that class.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Jones said he understood that Qantas pilots were entitled to rest comfortably on their way to another flight, but the ordeal was “unsettling and made me a little irritable”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Kochie and Karl team up for a new business venture

<p>David Koch and Karl Stefanovic has reportedly put their differences aside after a long-running rivalry, as they contemplate embarking on a new business venture together. </p> <p>After hosting rival morning television shows for decades, Kochie and Karl have squashed their beef with each other after Kochie retired from <em>Sunrise</em> earlier this year after 21 years on the air. </p> <p>Kochie chatted candidly on a recent episode of the <em>Something to Talk About</em> podcast, sharing details of his complicated relationships with Karl.</p> <p>He said despite running in similar circles due to the nature of their careers, they were never close friends. </p> <p>However, after Kochie left <em>Sunrise</em>, the pair caught up for a lunch date, and were joined by Kochie's old co-host Nat Barr. </p> <p>"Would you believe the two weeks after finishing on <em>Sunrise</em>, Karl and I and Nat had lunch together?" he said. </p> <p>"I’ve come across Karl a number of times at different functions – really nice bloke, incredibly respectful, didn’t know him much at all."</p> <p>But, it appears the two have now hit it off, as they are contemplating starting a podcast together. </p> <p>Kochie continued, "So we had lunch together and he’s talking about wanting to do a podcast together, funnily enough, so something might come of it."</p> <p>The 67-year-old was the the longest-serving breakfast TV anchor in Australian history when he left <em>Sunrise</em> two months ago. </p> <p>He was replaced by former professional sprinter Matt 'Shirvo' Shirvington, who had been filling in for Kochie for several years.</p> <p>Karl has been the host of the <em>Today</em> show for 14 years, beginning his hosting journey alongside Tracy Grimshaw in 2005. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Today / Sunrise </em></p>

TV

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Qantas slapped with class action lawsuit

<p>Qantas is staring down the barrel of a class action lawsuit, after being accused of prioritising its financial interests over its contractual commitments to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>The legal action was initiated on Monday August 21 in response to the airline's failure to provide refunds totalling more than a billion dollars to its customers.</p> <p>Echo Law, the plaintiff firm, contends that Qantas deceived customers and essentially held their funds, effectively treating them as interest-free loans.</p> <p>Andrew Paull, a partner at Echo Law, asserts that Qantas acted unlawfully by introducing a flight credit program in response to border closures caused by the pandemic. Instead of promptly refunding customers for cancelled flights, the airline, in numerous instances, retained the funds for an extended period to bolster its financial performance.</p> <p>Paull notes that Qantas' own terms and conditions stipulate refunds when cancellations occur outside their control. He points out that the magnitude of the claim has grown due to Qantas' prolonged inaction in addressing these issues.</p> <p>The class action is not only aiming to secure redress for pending refunds but also seeks compensation for delayed reimbursements. Paull alleges that Qantas has been "unjustly enriched" by withholding money owed to its customers. He equates the interest accrued on these retained funds over the past three years to a substantial sum.</p> <p>This legal action marks the latest episode in a series of challenges faced by Australia's largest airline due to the pandemic's far-reaching repercussions, which severely disrupted its operations. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has expressed concern and pressured the company to simplify the refund process following a surge in customer complaints.</p> <p>Consumer advocates have also criticised Qantas for delays in refunding customers. Choice, a consumer advocacy group, even bestowed a "shonky award" upon Qantas due to reports of customers using credits being required to pay extra.</p> <p>Paull estimates that approximately $400 million in refunds remains outstanding to date. He asserts that Qantas prioritised safeguarding its financial position over honouring its commitments to customers during the pandemic, potentially misleading customers by presenting the travel credits as acts of goodwill rather than a fulfilment of contractual obligations.</p> <p>Responding to the lawsuit, a Qantas spokesperson stated on Monday that the airline had not yet received the lawsuit. The spokesperson categorically rejected the allegations, asserting that Qantas had already processed over $1 billion in refunds arising from COVID-19-related credits for customers impacted by lockdowns and border closures.</p> <p>Moreover, the spokesperson refuted claims that Qantas derived financial gains from delaying refund disbursements, highlighting the substantial revenue loss of $25 billion and $7 billion in losses due to the pandemic. (Qantas has subsequently repaid significant portions of its pandemic debts and recently reported substantial profits after receiving substantial financial support from taxpayers during the pandemic period.)</p> <p>Qantas also dismissed allegations of delayed refund payments to affected customers. The spokesperson emphasised that the airline has consistently communicated the refund process to customers when flights were canceled.</p> <p>However, Paull contends that Qantas has created formidable barriers for customers seeking to exercise their consumer rights, including unfulfilled promises of callbacks and refunds that were granted but never processed.</p>

Legal

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"The last male sanctuary": Barber shop campaigns to formally ban women

<p>An Adelaide barber shop which prides itself as "the last male sanctuary", has applied for an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act, which, once approved, will allow it to formally ban women. </p> <p>The team behind Robbie's Chop Shop took to Instagram to ask over 42,800 of their followers to help with their application to Equal Opportunity SA. </p> <p>In their first pinned post on Instagram, the barber shop posted a photo of the letter explaining that they have applied for an exemption following a complaint made to the commission about their request for women to observe that it is a male-only business. </p> <p>"Unfortunately, this is not the first complaint of this type that we have received, so in order to deal with them once and for all, we have decided to make an application for an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act," they wrote in the letter. </p> <p>They added that the business prides itself in being able to provide "a safe space for men to discuss their issues", so they applied for the exemption to deal with the complaints once and for all. </p> <p>The business believes that they are "not in breach of the act" if they are able to obtain this exemption. </p> <p>"As part of our application, we would like to include statements from you, our loyal and valued customers, that explain why you love Robbie's Chop Shop, and why you feel that is so important for Robbie's Chop Shop to be a safe space for men to come together and discuss their issues," they pleaded. </p> <p>Their plea has divided followers, while some men and women agreed with them, others seem to disagree with their stance. </p> <p>"I love that this exists and love the safe space you've created for men to unload their weights of the world without being judged and freedom speak up in a space with others that may be facing similar issues," one woman wrote. </p> <p>"I’ll never understand why this is an issue. There are so many women only places around. As a woman I’d much prefer to go to a hair salon than a barber," commented another woman. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CvPYHawy18U/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CvPYHawy18U/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 💈 Robbie's Chop Shop 💈 (@robbieschopshop)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"💯 support - Great idea to have a space for men. In the UK there are lots of ladies/women only spaces and events etc. Don’t see the issue for men having their own space in society as well. 👍" wrote one man. </p> <p>"The concept of the last male sanctuary is not to discriminate against women but to offer a place for men to come and discuss the issues in their lives, in comfort with other similar men," commented another. </p> <p>One person wrote that they hope the business is equally welcoming to non-binary or trans people. </p> <p>"I hope you would welcome trans men, non-binary people and folks of any gender wanting a masculine haircut. We all deserve to feel included and safe to approach businesses knowing we won’t be turned away based on personal attributes we can’t change."</p> <p>"More like Robbie's Mojo Dojo Casa House," another quipped in reference to Ryan Gosling's character Ken establishing the patriarchy in Barbie land in the 2023 <em>Barbie m</em>ovie. </p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

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Can’t afford a gym membership or fitness class? 3 things to include in a DIY exercise program

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lewis-ingram-1427671">Lewis Ingram</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-bennett-1053061">Hunter Bennett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/saravana-kumar-181105">Saravana Kumar</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p>With the rising cost of living, gyms memberships and fitness classes are becoming increasingly unaffordable. But the good news is you can make <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28655559/">just as much progress at home</a>.</p> <p>Cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength and flexibility are the <a href="https://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/publications-files/acsms-exercise-testing-prescription.pdf?sfvrsn=111e9306_4">most important</a> components of fitness. And each can be trained with little or no equipment. Let’s look at why – and how – to fit them into your DIY exercise program.</p> <h2>1. Cardiovascular endurance</h2> <p>Cardiovascular endurance exercise (or “cardio”) forces the heart and lungs to increase the supply of oxygen to the working muscles. Heart disease is a <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death">leading cause of death</a> and cardiovascular endurance exercise helps keep the heart healthy.</p> <p>The best thing about cardio is you don’t need any fancy equipment to do it. Walking, jogging and running are great options, as are cycling, skipping rope and swimming.</p> <p>There are two approaches to maximise cardiovascular endurance:</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8897392/">high-intensity interval training</a> (HIIT) – short bouts of hard exercise (around 80% to 95% of your maximum heart rate) interspersed with lower intensity recovery periods (around 40% to 50% of your maximum heart rate)</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26664271/">low-intensity steady-state</a> (LISS) exercise – aerobic activity performed continuously at a low-to-moderate intensity (around 50% to 65% of your maximum heart rate) for an extended duration.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Both are great options. While high-intensity interval training can be more time efficient, low-intensity steady-state training might be more enjoyable and easier to sustain long-term.</p> <p>No matter what you choose, <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity">aim for</a> a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise each week. For example, you could try 30 minutes, five days per week of low intensity cardio, or 25 minutes, three days per week of high-intensity activity, or a combination of the two.</p> <p>How do you know if you’re exercising at the right intensity?</p> <p>Smart watches that measure heart rate can help to monitor intensity. Or you can rely on the good old-fashioned <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25536539/">talk test</a>. During low-intensity activity, you should be able to speak in full sentences. Conversely, short phrases (initially) or single words (towards the end) should be all that’s manageable during high-intensity exercise.</p> <h2>2. Muscle strength</h2> <p>Next is muscle strength, which we train through resistance exercise. This is important for bone health, balance and metabolic health, especially as we age and our <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30276173/">muscle mass and strength declines</a>.</p> <p>Aim for two days per week of whole-body resistance exercise performed at a moderate or <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity">greater intensity</a>. Try to build two weekly sessions that target the major muscle groups. This could include:</p> <ul> <li>squats – lower to the ground from standing by bending the hips, knees, and ankles while keeping the chest up tall before returning to standing by straightening the hips, knees and ankles</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://www.physio-pedia.com/Hip_Hinge">hinges</a> – fold forward at the hips by pushing your bottom back to the wall behind you, keeping your back straight. A slight bend in the knees is fine but aim to keep your shins vertical</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7196742/">push-ups</a> – if a full push-up is too difficult, you can place your hands on a raised surface such as a step or a chair</p> </li> <li> <p>horizontal and vertical pull ups – using something like a portable chin up bar, which you can buy from sports supply stores</p> </li> <li> <p>vertical pushes – pushing an object (or weight) vertically from the top of your chest to an overhead position.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Once you have selected your exercises, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35873210/">perform</a> 2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions at a moderate to greater intensity, with about 90 seconds rest between each set.</p> <p>As you progress, continue to challenge your muscles by adding an extra set to each exercise, or including dumbbells, changing body position or wearing a backpack with weights. The goal should be to progress slightly each session.</p> <p>However, if you have any underlying health conditions, disabilities, or are unsure how best to do this, see an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist.</p> <h2>3. Flexibility</h2> <p>Improved flexibility can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273886/">increase your range of motion</a> and improve your ability to manage daily life.</p> <p>While we don’t know the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273886/">best means of increasing flexibility</a>, the most basic and readily accessible is static <a href="https://www.topendsports.com/testing/flex.htm">stretching</a>. Here, we lengthen the muscle – for example, the hamstrings, until we feel a “stretching” sensation. Hold that position for 15–30 seconds.</p> <p>While the precise intensity of this stretching sensation <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26347668/">remains elusive</a>, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29506306/">around 5–10 minutes</a> per week per <a href="https://exrx.net/Lists/Directory">muscle group</a>, spread across five days, seems to provide the best results.</p> <h2>How to stick with it?</h2> <p>The best exercise is the one that gets done. So, whatever you choose, make sure you enjoy it. After all, it’s about creating an ongoing commitment to exercise that will deliver long-term health benefits.</p> <p>It’s also important to ensure you’re ready to exercise, especially if you have any underlying health issues, have been previously inactive, or are unsure how to start. A <a href="https://www.ausactive.org.au/apss">pre-exercise screening</a> can help you to determine whether you should see a doctor or allied health professional before starting an exercise program and for guidance on the next steps. <!-- 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/206204/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/lewis-ingram-1427671">Lewis Ingram</a>, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-bennett-1053061">Hunter Bennett</a>, Lecturer in Exercise Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/saravana-kumar-181105">Saravana Kumar</a>, Professor in Allied Health and Health Services Research, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</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/cant-afford-a-gym-membership-or-fitness-class-3-things-to-include-in-a-diy-exercise-program-206204">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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Hero tradie’s daring move saves toddler who wandered onto busy street

<p>In an awe-inspiring act of bravery that will leave you breathless, shocking <a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/tradie-scary-move-save-child-095600259.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">dash cam footage</a> has captured a heart-pounding moment that will forever be etched in the annals of heroism. </p> <p>Laurie Owens, a true guardian angel who fearlessly soared into action on the Salisbury Highway in Adelaide, embarked on a heart-stopping mission to save a young child's life, giving no thought to his own safety or that of his vehicle</p> <p>It was just another day for working tradie Laurie Owens as he navigated the bustling roadways. But with eagle eyes and a heart tuned to protect, Laurie spotted a young boy, still adorned in his nappy, wandering innocently into the treacherous path of oncoming vehicles on a busy highway.</p> <p>In a surge of adrenalin-fuelled heroism, Owens sprang into action as – u<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">ndeterred by the imminent danger, he gallantly mounted the median strip and fearlessly directed his own vehicle into the path of the charging traffic, all in an effort to shield the toddler from harm's way. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">His words echo with undying determination: "I'd rather take the damage of a car running into me because I'm safe rather than the child be killed because what protection do they have?" he told 9News. </span></p> <p>In a dazzling display of divine intervention, the unsuspecting little boy, named Aaryan, instinctively turned and bolted towards the safety of his family driveway, under the watchful gaze of Owens.</p> <p>Owens then gathered the child in his arms, poised to reunite him with his worried parents, who confirmed that Aaryan was indeed their precious child. The driveway gates had been left ajar, allowing the child, who grapples with autism, to embark on an unplanned adventure onto the perilous road.</p> <p>In the tearful aftermath, Aaryan's mother, overwhelmed with gratitude, expressed her deepest appreciation, declaring, "Thank you, I'm really grateful that [he] saved my child."</p> <p>For Owens, the humble champion of this heart-stopping saga, the joy of knowing that the little boy made it home safely was an immeasurable reward. Bursting with pride, he triumphantly proclaimed, "I've saved a kid's life. He's got a future now!"</p> <p><em>Images: 9 News</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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"Spoil yourself and your bestie": Jackie O announces new side hustle

<p dir="ltr">Jackie O Henderson has announced a new side hustle with her best friend of 20 years Gemma O’Neill.</p> <p dir="ltr">The radio star took to Instagram on Tuesday to announce her newest venture with O’Neill, a business fittingly named “Besties”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We’ve been besties for over 20 years and have lived through terrible fashion choices, husbands, moving houses (again and again!), holidays, babies, novice tarot card readings, swimming with sharks, dancing around the living room to our favourite songs and of course lots of tears and lots more laughter,” she captioned the photo.</p> <p dir="ltr">The pair were pictured sharing a laugh in a beautiful photoshoot by the beach, presumably to promote their upcoming business.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Like any best friend duo, we've always dreamed of starting our own side hustle, and we're so thrilled to share the news of our newest venture, Besties,” she added in the caption.</p> <p dir="ltr">The <em>KIIS</em> star claims that the business will allow people to spend more time and create more memories with their best friends.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cu0IqHpyEOW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cu0IqHpyEOW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Jackie O (@jackieo_official)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The pair have thought out their mission well, vowing to bring friends closer to “extraordinary people” through their speaker events, provide trips to “breathtaking destinations” and offer a range of luxe products so you can “spoil yourself and your bestie”.</p> <p dir="ltr">She also revealed that this business venture was just an excuse for her to make more memories with her best friend.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We thought it was about time for a one-stop shop to celebrate each other,” she added.</p> <p dir="ltr">She also tagged an Instagram account for the business, which already boasts over 11 thousand followers.</p> <p dir="ltr">While both women are co-founders of the company, Jackie O will be the creative director while her best friend is the CEO.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Money & Banking

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How much one man paid to fly First Class forever

<p dir="ltr">One man grabbed the opportunity of a lifetime back in 1990 and is now reaping the benefits of his hard work.</p> <p dir="ltr">69-year-old Tom Stuker who was a car dealership consultant at that time, paid an eye watering $US510,000 — $A770,000 for United Airlines lifetime pass to passengers.</p> <p dir="ltr">The married father of two described this as “the best investment” he’s made and has taken full advantage of his lavish first class travel perks in seat 1B.</p> <p dir="ltr">Stuker has flown a total of 23 million miles according to the <em>Washington Post</em>, with 2019 being his record year where he flew 373 flights covering 1.46 million miles.</p> <p dir="ltr">If converted to cash, those flights would have cost him $2.44 million.</p> <p dir="ltr">Among the unlimited travel miles, Stuker is also treated like a VIP, with a special check-in station that has a door which takes him straight to the security queue.</p> <p dir="ltr">He also has access to VIP airport lounges with free fine dining, spa treatments, showers and sleeping quarters.</p> <p dir="ltr">In 2011 Stuker hit the 10 million mile mark which prompted the airline to name a 747 after him.</p> <p dir="ltr">In 2019 he hit the 20 million mile mark which he celebrated mid-air with a champagne toast that he shared with other passengers aboard the same flight.</p> <p dir="ltr">Stuker remained humble as he talked with all the other passengers and even topped up their glass of bubbles as they congratulated him on this milestone.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s not about the places I go, it’s about the people I meet,” he said to the passengers via the plane's intercom.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I wanted to say thank you to all of you who shared this moment with me,” Stuker continued. “To be able to celebrate 20 million on my favourite airline in the whole world, it’s everything.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Stuker initially found out about the lifetime pass when his colleague told him American Airlines was offering it.</p> <p dir="ltr">He then approached United airlines and said: “ ‘you’re going to lose me as a customer’ and they said ‘we have the same thing’,” he told Chicago-based TV station <em>WGN News</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sadly, for others who want to follow in his footsteps that offer doesn’t exist anymore, but there are still similar passes available, Stuker said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They came out to my office, they presented it and I did the number crunching and made a really good business decision because that’s what I bought the pass for — to save money on my business travel.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They still have programs that do that, just not the unlimited.”</p> <p dir="ltr">It’s been 33 years and Stuker still spends most of his time flying, unable to stay off a plane for more than a week.</p> <p dir="ltr">He has travelled to over 100 countries using his unlimited United pass and is generous enough to share this experience with his wife, taking her on over 120 “honeymoons”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

International Travel

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US school teacher sacked after reading Aussie book to class

<p dir="ltr">A US primary school teacher is forced to resign or terminate her contract after reading an Aussie book to her class.</p> <p dir="ltr">Katie Rinderle, from Cobb County, Georgia wanted to teach her fifth graders about inclusion and acceptance through Aussie author Scott Stuart’s book, <em>My Shadow is Purple</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The book itself explores this through the theme of “gender beyond the binary” and the story of a child who neither identifies as a boy or girl.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rinderle discussed the main message behind the book before asking them to reflect and write their own poem, which has been praised by some parents.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, not all of them were happy about Rinderle’s initiative and one parent filed a complaint which led to an investigation.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rinderle was sacked for violating the Divisive Concepts law, which disallows teachers from educating about divisive concepts and was given the notice of termination on June 6.</p> <p dir="ltr">Investigators reportedly deemed the book to be “pornographic” material which included “inappropriate topics”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Stuart, the author of the book, responded to the situation and shared his “disgust” on <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@scott.creates/video/7247741499775995137?lang=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TikTok</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“A teacher’s just been fired for reading one of my books,” he said in the video.</p> <p dir="ltr">“(She) had parents reaching out saying that this kind of lesson was something that they wanted in the class. This is a teacher who gets phenomenal feedback from the principal, the students, the parents.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Her teaching is described as transformative and key to the school’s success,” he defended Rinderle.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This whole thing just really goes to show how much more interested the school system in the US is in playing politics than they are in educating kids,” he added</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s gross. It’s disgusting.”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cobb County School District has responded to the situation in a statement to<em> FOX 5 a</em>nd claimed that any action taken was “appropriate considering the entirety of the teacher’s behaviour and history”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The District remains committed to strictly enforcing all Board policy, and the law,” the statement concluded.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rinderle will face a termination hearing in August.</p> <p style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, Rubik, 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Books

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Four-year-old entrepreneur wins out against council complaints

<p dir="ltr">Four-year-old Leo Tyres is the proud owner of his very own fruit and vegetable stand, better known as Leo’s Little Shop, but his enterprise hasn’t come without its share of struggle. </p> <p dir="ltr">He first had to overcome a hurdle most small business owners know an awful lot about - a slow start. And from there, things escalated, when a complaint made to the local council against his stand almost shut down business for good. </p> <p dir="ltr">Leo operates his pop-up store, selling discounted fruit and vegetables with slight defects from outside his home in Gatton, Queensland. </p> <p dir="ltr">And as Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan told<em> 9News</em>, the complaint had been about “a business that was operating in a residential area. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Like most councils, we are complaint-driven, we have an obligation to go and check it out.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“If it’s a permanent structure, it becomes a shop,” she explained, before noting that if that were the case then the young family would have had a lot of hoops to jump through. </p> <p dir="ltr">Luckily for little Leo - and the 2000 locals who got behind a petition to save his venture - Milligan was of the opinion that “it’s no different to me than the old-fashioned lemonade stall or garage sale.” </p> <p dir="ltr">And so, the stand remains open for business, with Leo at the helm. </p> <p dir="ltr">As for how his regulars feel about the outcome, Leo was happy to report that “they say ‘good on ya’.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Leo’s mother, Barbra Sanchez, is delighted with the result as well, and shared some of the benefits of his experience, noting that “he is learning several life skills from interacting with people, [and he’s] saving money.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Those people are, of course, his customers, but also his suppliers. Local business is important to the youngster, who sources his produce from local farmers who are unable to sell the fruit and vegetables due to the ‘imperfections’ in their appearance.</p> <p dir="ltr">While he started out with just a bag of limes and two pumpkins, Leo’s empire has grown from there, and he now has his very own trailer to help with the crucial work of sourcing, carrying, and selling his wares. </p> <p dir="ltr">He was more than eager to share this proud achievement, too, declaring that he can now “take 10 pumpkins in the trailer! 10 pumpkins.” </p> <p dir="ltr">And for anyone wondering just what the four year old might be doing with his hard-earned savings, Leo was happy to explain, telling <em>9News</em>’ Cam Inglis, “I just buy toys.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: 9News</em></p>

Food & Wine

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"Too busy marching": Debate rages over fiery Anzac Day post

<p>A man has shared a controversial claim on Twitter about Australia’s relationship to Anzac Day, sparking a fiery debate.</p> <p>Australians and New Zealanders gathered to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the landing of Anzac troops at Gallipoli in World War I on April 25th. Services were held all over both countries to mark the day of remembrance.</p> <p>On May 34th, Brad Turner, who says he is a former Navy submariner and AFP officer, took to Twitter to argue that the values of the annual celebration were “no longer reflected” by Australia.</p> <p>He notably called out Australia’s confrontation with China on behalf of the US.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Australia is a society that dutifully gets up early every April 25 to gather, Mach & remember our Dead. Speeches are made, politicians speak of sacrifice & honour whilst possessing or embodying neither. That same society that holds paramount ideals of egalitarianism, mateship &… <a href="https://t.co/sbHHbRiYAF">pic.twitter.com/sbHHbRiYAF</a></p> <p>— Brad Turner (@tur14865416) <a href="https://twitter.com/tur14865416/status/1650394428841037826?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 24, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>“Australia is a society that dutifully gets up early every April 25 to gather, march and remember our dead,” he wrote in the post, which has been viewed more than 20,000 times.</p> <p>“Speeches are made, politicians speak of sacrifice and honour whilst possessing or embodying neither. That same society that holds paramount ideals of egalitarianism, mateship and sacrifice is forgotten on the other 364 days of the year.</p> <p>“On those days Australia marches right past veteran suicides, war crimes, illegal wars and widespread inequality and corruption. Is it really a day of remembrance? Or is it theatrics so society can pretend they care about victims of war or our conduct as a country with an aim to feel better about apathy and inaction as a nation towards these things.</p> <p>“We don’t notice any of these things because we are too busy marching. But this time it’s headlong into another pointless American war with China. The things we celebrate about our nation on Anzac Day are sadly no longer reflected in Australia’s actions. They have not been in some time.”</p> <p>Several people online took the same stance as Mr Turner.</p> <p>“I don’t like Anzac Day. It overlooks our follies in joining Britain and US wars. WWII was noble. The rest were con jobs to enrich the industrialists. Our people have all these solemn events only to assuage their ‘je ne c’est quoi’ because they don’t feel any guilt but should,” one wrote.</p> <p>“Our politicians spend more on memorial monuments and museums that they can put their name on a plaque on the wall than they do for the actual veterans who are suffering from PTSD or other ‘souvenirs’ they have brought back from their tours,” another said.</p> <p>“Flag waving patriotism has taken over Anzac Day. We are one step away from parades of military hardware while the populace salute. What should be a reflection on the horrors of war has become it‘s celebration. John Howard did this,” a third added.</p> <p>“Listening to the Labor government yesterday follow in the footsteps of the Coalition, justifying spending billions antagonising China at America’s request is not the ‘lest we forget’ I think about,” a fourth wrote.</p> <p>Others fired back and said Anzac Day was still important.</p> <p>“Mate … it’s about remembering the sacrifice and loss of our mates … lest we forget,” one wrote, adding, “I don’t worry about [politicians] anymore grandstanding on the day. It’s our day not theirs to remember our mates.”</p> <p>Another wrote, “It is tradition. It separates the fluff of ordinary living to reflect on sacrifice not only of the dead, of lives unlived, of the unfathomable grief but also of the living dealing with the trauma and moral injury of tooth and claw war. It is not a celebration which distracts.”</p> <p>“I understand this perspective, but at the same time I ask myself — is there any harm in this form national reflection? I agree there have been some military follies following the absolute necessity of WWII, but would add that there is no guarantee that the next engagement is such,” a third wrote.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

News

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Rod Stewart's ultimate surprise for like-minded hobbyists

<p>Rod Stewart has paid a surprise visit to a local business in Sydney's west, mingling with like-minded hobbyists. </p> <p>On Wednesday night, the 78-year-old rockstar took to the stage of Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena in front of 21,000 adoring fans, performing his classic hits in a signature leopard print jacket. </p> <p>But just hours before, he stopped in at Woodpecker Model Railways, a model train store located in Pendle Hill, in search of model trains to add to his vast collection.</p> <p>"Look who casually walked into our shop," the business shared on their Facebook page, alongside a photo of staff members smiling with the rock legend.</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwoodpeckermodelrailways%2Fposts%2Fpfbid0Nfb2LeEtR5yXAcfCiBW8g4GVLqncdVbNz9AKJnZVwFzB345DUXMDt3C6ZvcGpReyl&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=500" width="500" height="504" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>"That's amazing!!!" one follower wrote on Facebook.</p> <p>"WOW how awesome !! Lucky you !!I think I would be in total admiration [and] shock if Rod walked into a shop I owned or was in lol," another said.</p> <p>"A very accomplished modeller..... sings a bit as well....." another wrote.</p> <p>Rod Stewart has long been known as a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/property/real-estate/rod-stewart-s-hidden-track-inside-his-beverly-hills-home" target="_blank" rel="noopener">keen model train builder</a>, revealing in a 2019 interview with Railway Modeller magazine that he had been working on a giant and intricate model of a United States city at home for the previous 23 years.</p> <p>Following his admission in the interview, BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine suggested Stewart did not build the model himself, to which Stewart rebutted as he called into Vine's show to set the record straight himself.</p> <p>"I would say 90 per cent of it I built myself," Stewart insisted to Vine. "The only thing I wasn't very good at and still am not is the electricals, so I had someone else do that."</p> <p>"A lot of people laugh at it being a silly hobby, but it's a wonderful hobby," he said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Music

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No Pokies, no problems: The bowling club that never looked back

<p dir="ltr">Petersham Bowling Club was heading towards poverty, when the board’s decision to remove all of their pokies in 2007 changed their business for the better.</p> <p dir="ltr">Club president George Catsi said that the shift from pokies, a staple of many NSW bowling clubs, to live entertainment and other events has generated them more profit than the slots ever did, with a 700 per cent increase in turnover.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I came at it from a position of, this is a valuable space that’s here, the club owns the land. They could have developed it,” he told <em>news.com.au</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So I suppose we came in on a platform of engagement, and we were feeling that the club wasn’t engaging with its community.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Over the last calendar week alone, the club has hosted trivia, life drawing, poetry, two music gigs, Pinot and Picasso, a community radio show, and Sunday bowls.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You’ve got to create a place that people go. This place is such a great vibe, and it’s got such interesting things going. People will fight for that,” Catsi said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is what clubs should be – they should be hubs. My problem with a lot of other clubs is that they forgot that.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Catsi said that they took over the bowling club because it was struggling, and recognised that the pokies weren’t “saving them” or a “guaranteed lifeline”, as they still needed to get people through to the club.</p> <p dir="ltr">He also said that clubs relying on the slot machines for income are “doomed” because they are not open to welcoming and accommodating to the wider communities.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Is it lazy income now? Yes, it is. Absolutely. Because it’s just embedded as part of your income stream, and you don’t want to let go of it,” Catsi said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s also governments … they’re also addicted to the gambling money.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Pokies are going to be one of the major issues for the upcoming NSW election on March 25.</p> <p dir="ltr">Both parties have vowed to make considerable changes, but neither are going to remove the slots completely.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Salon owner loses $40,000 from one $60 deposit

<p dir="ltr">When beautician Thuy Le received a call from a supposed customer’s ‘husband’ regarding an accidental payment, she could never have foreseen the devastating turn her life would take from that point on. </p> <p dir="ltr">The mother of two, whose husband is living with Parkinsons and unable to work, recounted how her harrowing ordeal started with that one phone call, and the man on the other end requesting she return the $60 his wife had ‘accidentally’ paid. </p> <p dir="ltr">Le checked her bank statements to verify his story, and after noting one deposit that matched, she transferred the funds into the account he provided. </p> <p dir="ltr">She did not provide any of her own personal information, her passwords, or any critical numbers for her accounts. And yet, in the time to follow, Le could only watch in horror as more withdrawals were made from her account, into the very same one owned by the customer’s ‘husband’. </p> <p dir="ltr">The withdrawals totalled a devastating $41,600 stolen from Le’s life savings. </p> <p dir="ltr">Le also recounted how she was refused access to her business account, and that she got in touch with her bank as soon as she realised what had happened, suspecting she had been scammed. </p> <p dir="ltr">Her quest for support in her time of need was cut short, with the financial institution placing the blame solely on Le and ruling that they were not liable for the losses she had endured - this was despite the suspicious withdrawals raising no alarm with the bank, and the lack of personal information involved in the scam. </p> <p dir="ltr">Of their questionable red flag system, the bank claimed that it is “nearly impossible for an unauthorised third party to guess”, referencing the way that the logins for the costly transaction all succeeded on the very first try. </p> <p dir="ltr">Furthermore, as stated in a letter to Le, they declared that “the only reasonable explanation for these logins would be that your online banking credentials were known to the unauthorised third party, which would be in breach of the passcode security requirements.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am in financial hardship,” Le admitted of her dire situation, and the need to have the funds returned for her family and her husband’s crucial medication. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I have two little kids, I have a husband with Parkinson’s disease, he cannot work,” she continued. “We are still in the process of applying for government help and I have carried the financial burden on my shoulders.”</p> <p dir="ltr">While Le’s bank offered $200 to resolve her complaint, she was offered no further assistance, and took matters to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, hoping to have her money returned to her. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I can’t sleep,” she confessed. “I want to know why this happened to me and how it happened to me.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m not a liar, not a criminal, not a fraud.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Supplied to 7News, Facebook</em></p>

Money & Banking

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