Placeholder Content Image

Motive and cause of death revealed after six found dead in luxury hotel

<p>Six people found dead in a luxury hotel room in central Bangkok are believed to have died due to poisoning, according to Thai police. </p> <p>Authorities shared photo of the teacups found in the room on the fifth floor of the hotel, revealing they found traces of cyanide in the cups. </p> <p>The bodies of two American and four Vietnamese nationals were found by hotel staff on Tuesday evening, after staff entered the room to inform them it was past check out time. </p> <p>The group, made up of three men and three women aged between 37 and 56, likely drank from tea and coffee cups laced with cyanide following a dispute linked to bad investments, Thai police said on Wednesday.</p> <p>Photos of the crime scene released by authorities show a lack of struggle and violence, instead showing bodies scattered around the room among plates of untouched food, and two thermos flasks and cups.</p> <p>Initial examinations revealed the presence of cyanide in six cups, according to police.</p> <p>“The mouths and nails on all the bodies turned purple, showing a lack of air could be a joint reason of the cause of the death,” forensic doctor Kornkiat Vongpaisarnsin, told a press conference at the Chulalongkorn University.</p> <p>“We presume they all died from cyanide which causes a lack of air in some organs,” he added.</p> <p>Authorities initially said they were searching for a seventh person who was part of the hotel booking, but on Wednesday they dismissed this line of inquiry, saying they believe one of the dead people poisoned the others with the deadly fast-acting chemical cyanide.</p> <p>“We are convinced that one of the six people found dead committed this crime,” said Noppasil Poonsawas, a deputy commander of Bangkok police.</p> <p>That person, police said, had ordered the food and tea to the room and “looked under stress” when staff arrived.</p> <p>After conducting interviews with hotel staff, Noppasin said one of the members of the group was alone in the room when the food arrived and was later joined by the other guests.</p> <p>He added that the incident was likely linked to a “personal matter” and not related to organised crime as interviews carried out with relatives of the dead indicated a dispute over debt.</p> <p>“One of the relatives said one of the deceased was an investment agent and all (the deceased) invested, but the business was not going as expected. They made an appointment to discuss the matter in Thailand,” Noppasin said.</p> <p>Police believe that the woman who poisoned the group did so after she accrued huge debts related to an investment in a hospital in Japan, according to police sources cited by Vietnamese media. </p> <p>She had allegedly convinced a married couple and two other victims among the dead to pour funds into the project, but they had reportedly lost roughly $280,000 AUD as a result. </p> <p>Tran Dinh Dung, the father of one of the victims, said his 37-year-old son was due to return to Vietnam last Sunday.</p> <p>“I kept calling him but couldn’t get through so I was very worried, but I didn’t expect him to die in Thailand,” Dung said in an interview with Vietnam’s Thanh Nien newspaper.</p> <p>“Phu’s mother has fainted countless times, she could not bear this shock,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: AFP/Anusak Laowilas/NurPhoto/Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

3 signs your diet is causing too much muscle loss – and what to do about it

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-fuller-219993">Nick Fuller</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>When trying to lose weight, it’s natural to want to see quick results. So when the number on the scales drops rapidly, it seems like we’re on the right track.</p> <p>But as with many things related to weight loss, there’s a flip side: rapid weight loss can result in a significant loss of muscle mass, as well as fat.</p> <p>So how you can tell if you’re losing too much muscle and what can you do to prevent it?</p> <h2>Why does muscle mass matter?</h2> <p>Muscle is an important factor in determining our metabolic rate: how much energy we burn at rest. This is determined by how much muscle and fat we have. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, meaning it burns more calories.</p> <p>When we diet to lose weight, we create a calorie deficit, where our bodies don’t get enough energy from the food we eat to meet our energy needs. Our bodies start breaking down our fat and muscle tissue for fuel.</p> <p>A decrease in calorie-burning muscle mass slows our metabolism. This quickly slows the rate at which we lose weight and impacts our ability to maintain our weight long term.</p> <h2>How to tell you’re losing too much muscle</h2> <p>Unfortunately, measuring changes in muscle mass is not easy.</p> <p>The most accurate tool is an enhanced form of X-ray called a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. The scan is primarily used in medicine and research to capture data on weight, body fat, muscle mass and bone density.</p> <p>But while DEXA is becoming more readily available at weight-loss clinics and gyms, it’s not cheap.</p> <p>There are also many “smart” scales available for at home use that promise to provide an accurate reading of muscle mass percentage.</p> <p>However, the accuracy of these scales is questionable. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8122302/">Researchers found</a> the scales tested massively over- or under-estimated fat and muscle mass.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are three free but scientifically backed signs you may be losing too much muscle mass when you’re dieting.</p> <h2>1. You’re losing much more weight than expected each week</h2> <p>Losing a lot of weight rapidly is one of the early signs that your diet is too extreme and you’re losing too much muscle.</p> <p>Rapid weight loss (of more than 1 kilogram per week) results in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5702468/">greater muscle mass loss</a> than slow weight loss.</p> <p>Slow weight loss better preserves muscle mass and often has the added benefit of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666312000153">greater fat mass loss</a>.</p> <p>One study compared people in the obese weight category who followed either a very low-calorie diet (500 calories per day) for five weeks or a low-calorie diet (1,250 calories per day) for 12 weeks. While both groups lost similar amounts of weight, participants following the very low-calorie diet (500 calories per day) for five weeks lost <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26813524/">significantly more muscle mass</a>.</p> <h2>2. You’re feeling tired and things feel more difficult</h2> <p>It sounds obvious, but feeling tired, sluggish and finding it hard to complete physical activities, such as working out or doing jobs around the house, is another strong signal you’re losing muscle.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648712/">Research</a> shows a decrease in muscle mass may negatively impact your body’s physical performance.</p> <h2>3. You’re feeling moody</h2> <p>Mood swings and feeling anxious, stressed or depressed may also be signs you’re losing muscle mass.</p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26228522/">Research</a> on muscle loss due to ageing suggests low levels of muscle mass can negatively impact mental health and mood. This seems to stem from the relationship between low muscle mass and proteins called neurotrophins, which help regulate mood and feelings of wellbeing.</p> <h2>So how you can do to maintain muscle during weight loss?</h2> <p>Fortunately, there are also three actions you can take to maintain muscle mass when you’re following a calorie-restricted diet to lose weight.</p> <h2>1. Incorporate strength training into your exercise plan</h2> <p>While a broad exercise program is important to support overall weight loss, strength-building exercises are a surefire way to help prevent the loss of muscle mass. A <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29596307/">meta-analysis of studies</a> of older people with obesity found resistance training was able to prevent almost 100% of muscle loss from calorie restriction.</p> <p>Relying on diet alone to lose weight will reduce muscle along with body fat, slowing your metabolism. So it’s essential to make sure you’ve incorporated sufficient and appropriate exercise into your weight-loss plan to hold onto your muscle mass stores.</p> <p>But you don’t need to hit the gym. Exercises using body weight – such as push-ups, pull-ups, planks and air squats – are just as effective as lifting weights and using strength-building equipment.</p> <p>Encouragingly, moderate-volume resistance training (three sets of ten repetitions for eight exercises) <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/sms.14237">can be as effective</a> as high-volume training (five sets of ten repetitions for eight exercises) for maintaining muscle when you’re following a calorie-restricted diet.</p> <h2>2. Eat more protein</h2> <p>Foods high in protein play an essential role in building and maintaining muscle mass, but <a href="https://europepmc.org/article/MED/19927027">research</a> also shows these foods help prevent muscle loss when you’re following a calorie-restricted diet.</p> <p>But this doesn’t mean <em>just</em> eating foods with protein. Meals need to be balanced and include a source of protein, wholegrain carb and healthy fat to meet our dietary needs. For example, eggs on wholegrain toast with avocado.</p> <h2>3. Slow your weight loss plan down</h2> <p>When we change our diet to lose weight, we take our body out of its comfort zone and trigger its survival response. It then counteracts weight loss, triggering <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25896063/">several physiological responses</a> to defend our body weight and “survive” starvation.</p> <p>Our body’s survival mechanisms want us to regain lost weight to ensure we survive the next period of famine (dieting). <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5764193/">Research</a> shows that more than half of the weight lost by participants is regained within two years, and more than 80% of lost weight is regained within five years.</p> <p>However, a slow and steady, stepped approach to weight loss, prevents our bodies <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38193357/">from activating defence mechanisms</a> to defend our weight when we try to lose weight.</p> <p>Ultimately, losing weight long-term comes down to making gradual changes to your lifestyle to ensure you form habits that last a lifetime.</p> <hr /> <p><em>At the Boden Group, Charles Perkins Centre, we are studying the science of obesity and running clinical trials for weight loss. You can <a href="https://redcap.sydney.edu.au/surveys/?s=RKTXPPPHKY">register here</a> to express your interest.</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/223865/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/nick-fuller-219993"><em>Nick Fuller</em></a><em>, Charles Perkins Centre Research Program Leader, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</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/3-signs-your-diet-is-causing-too-much-muscle-loss-and-what-to-do-about-it-223865">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Today Show entertainment reporter's cause of death revealed

<p>Beloved <em>Today</em> show and KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin's cause of death has been revealed, two months after his sudden <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/legendary-today-show-reporter-dies-unexpectedly" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passing</a>. </p> <p>The 64-year-old died in May with a new report from medical officials finding he died from a heart attack after he suffered a massive blockage to his coronary artery. </p> <p>Just hours after hosting his Hollywood news segment in the morning of May 10th, Rubin was rushed to home after collapsing in his Los Angeles home. </p> <p>The multi-Emmy Award winner was a renowned figure in the news industry on the West Coast, and had covered entertainment, movies and TV for KTLA since 1991.</p> <p>He was also well-known in Australia as a contributor to Channel Nine's <em>Today</em> show and <em>Today Extra</em>, and in the UK where he appeared on <em>This Morning</em>.</p> <p>Following his death, Karl Stefanovic paid tribute to his colleague on Instagram, saying he "adored every second with Sam on air and off over the past two decades".</p> <p>"His spirit. His laugh. His warm caring nature. He was a beautiful man. What a loss. All love to his family, and to his TV family at KTLA5 News."</p> <p><em>Today Extra</em> host David Campbell also paid tribute to Rubin, calling him a "Hollywood great".</p> <p>"He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the industry," Campbell posted on social media.</p> <p>"For years we would cross to him and gossip and laugh," he said.</p> <p>"He would visit us Down Under, and whenever you were in LA you had to catch up. His loss is profound. My love and condolences to his family whom he adored."</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">"Also his KTLA team who have lost a brother. We will cross back to you some other time Sam."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Cancer-causing chemicals found in Aussie tap water sparks safety concerns

<p>A landmark ruling in the US has sparked safety concerns over Australian tap water, with many wondering if it is safe to drink. </p> <p>After the US tightened their regulations around drinking tap water, cutting the maximum level of cancer-causing so-called “forever chemicals” allowed, experts have urged Australia to do the same. </p> <p>Earlier this year, the US Environmental Protection Agency found there was “no safe level of exposure” of the chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water and they were likely to cause cancer.</p> <p>The toxic substances have also been linked to kidney and liver disease, thyroid dysregulation, reproductive problems, and developmental problems.</p> <p>According to a federally funded University of Queensland study published in 2011, Australia permits per-and-poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances at levels up to 140 times higher than those allowed in the US.</p> <p>Health Minister Mark Butler has asked key political players, including Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly, for an urgent briefing following the US developments.</p> <p>The National Health and Medical Research Council, which shapes the nation’s water rules, is reviewing its guidelines relating to the chemicals, and that could be expedited ahead of its 2025 end date.</p> <p>“Australian drinking water is regularly monitored for the presence of chemicals, including PFAS, to ensure those are within the limits assessed as safe by Australian regulators,” a spokesperson for the Health Minister said.</p> <p>“This independent review will consider recent guidance and reviews from international and national jurisdictions and determine whether they are suitable to adopt or adapt for Australia.”</p> <p>Nicholas Chartres, a senior research fellow at the University of Sydney, called for a precautionary approach and immediate widespread testing of the nation’s water supplies.</p> <p>“The government needs to take action. They need to be testing the water (and) it will come at a cost,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Michael Mosley's cause of death revealed in autopsy

<p>The sudden and tragic death of renowned TV doctor Michael Mosley has left his fans and family in deep sorrow. New details from an initial autopsy report reveal the beloved health expert likely died of natural causes during a challenging trek on the Greek island of Symi.</p> <p>Mosley disappeared on a Wednesday afternoon after bidding farewell to his wife on Saint Nikolas Beach. He inadvertently took a wrong turn, embarking on a gruelling two-hour hike in intense heat. According to The Sun, he tragically collapsed near a beach bar at Agia Marina, just a few metres away from safety. His body was discovered five days later by a television crew from Greece's ERT public channel.</p> <p>The initial autopsy indicated that Mosley most likely succumbed to natural causes at around 4pm on the day he went missing. The scorching temperatures, exceeding 40°C in the rocky terrain, contributed to the arduous conditions he faced. The post-mortem examination revealed no external injuries that could have caused his death. The position of his body suggested that he had sat down to rest against a wall before losing consciousness and passing away.</p> <p>CCTV footage captured Mosley walking slowly through the mountainous area, indicating exhaustion. His last recorded sighting was at 2pm in Pedi, implying he had been navigating the rough terrain for nearly two hours. The grainy footage showed him collapsing near a wall and barbed wire fence, just 100m from the beach resort and shoreline.</p> <p>Despite extensive search efforts, including drones, helicopters and specially trained dogs, Mosley’s body was not found until five days later. The condition of his body made it challenging to pinpoint the exact cause of death, but it was clear he was extremely close to reaching safety before he collapsed.</p> <p>The search for Dr Mosley mobilised the small island community of Symi, with 2600 residents and numerous volunteers talking part. His wife, Dr Claire Bailey, expressed her profound grief in a heartfelt statement.</p> <p>“I don’t know quite where to begin with this,” she said. “It’s devastating to have lost Michael, my wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband. </p> <p>“We had an incredibly lucky life together. We loved each other very much and were so happy together. I am incredibly proud of our children, their resilience and support over the past days. </p> <p>“My family and I have been hugely comforted by the outpouring of love from people from around the world. It’s clear that Michael meant a huge amount to so many of you. </p> <p>“We’re taking comfort in the fact that he so very nearly made it. </p> <p>“He did an incredible climb, took the wrong route and collapsed where he couldn’t be easily seen by the extensive search team. </p> <p>“Michael was an adventurous man, it’s part of what made him so special. </p> <p>“We are so grateful to the extraordinary people on Symi who have worked tirelessly to help find him. </p> <p>“Some of these people on the island, who hadn’t even heard of Michael, worked from dawn till dusk unasked. We’re also very grateful to the press who have dealt with us with great respect. </p> <p>“I feel so lucky to have our children and my amazing friends. Most of all, I feel so lucky to have had this life with Michael.”</p> <p>Dr Mosley was a respected and beloved figure in the medical and television community. Known for his insightful health advice and engaging personality, he had a significant impact on many lives. His adventurous spirit and dedication to promoting health and well-being will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock Editorial / Facebook</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

1 in 5 deaths are caused by heart disease, but what else are Australians dying from?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/garry-jennings-5307">Garry Jennings</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Nobody dies in good health, at least in their final moments. But to think the causes of death are easy to count or that there is generally a single reason somebody passes is an oversimplification.</p> <p>In fact, in 2022, four out of five Australians had multiple conditions at the time of death listed on their death certificate, and almost one-quarter had five or more recorded. This is one of many key findings from a <a href="https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/life-expectancy-deaths/what-do-australians-die-from/contents/about">new report</a> from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).</p> <p>The report distinguishes between three types of causes of death – underlying, direct, and contributory. An underlying cause is the condition that initiates the chain of events leading to death, such as having coronary heart disease. The direct cause of death is what the person died from (rather than with), like a heart attack. Contributory causes are things that significantly contributed to the chain of events leading to death but are not directly involved, like having high blood pressure. The report also tracks how these three types of causes can overlap in deaths involving multiple causes.</p> <p>In 2022 the top five conditions involved in deaths in Australia were coronary heart disease (20% of deaths), dementia (18%), hypertension, or high blood pressure (12%), cerebrovascular disease such as stroke (11.5%), and diabetes (11.4%).</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="MzQHA" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/MzQHA/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>When the underlying cause of death was examined, the list was similar (coronary heart disease 10%, dementia 9%, cerebrovascular disease 5%, followed by COVID and lung cancer, each 5%). This means coronary heart disease was not just lurking at the time of death but also the major underlying cause.</p> <p>The direct cause of death however was most often a lower respiratory condition (8%), cardiac or respiratory arrest (6.5%), sepsis (6%), pneumonitis, or lung inflammation (4%) or hypertension (4%).</p> <h2>Why is this important?</h2> <p>Without looking at all the contributing causes of death, the role of important factors such as coronary heart disease, sepsis, depression, high blood pressure and alcohol use can be underestimated.</p> <p>Even more importantly, the various causes draw attention to the areas where we should be focusing public health prevention. The report also helps us understand which groups to focus on for prevention and health care. For example, the number one cause of death in women was dementia, whereas in men it was coronary heart disease.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="NosVz" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/NosVz/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>People aged under 55 tended to die from external events such as accidents and violence, whereas older people died against a background of chronic disease.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="1l3OS" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/1l3OS/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>We cannot prevent death, but we can prevent many diseases and injuries. And this report highlights that many of these causes of death, both for younger Australians and older, are preventable. The top five conditions involved in death (coronary heart disease, dementia, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease and diabetes) all share common risk factors such as tobacco use, high cholesterol, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, or are risk factors themselves, like hypertension or diabetes.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="7Eb8O" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/7Eb8O/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Tobacco use, high blood pressure, being overweight or obese and poor diet were attributable to a combined 44% of all deaths in this report. This suggests a comprehensive approach to health promotion, disease prevention and management is needed.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="2MmGg" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/2MmGg/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>This should include strategies and programs encouraging eating a healthy diet, participating in regular physical activity, limiting or eliminating alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, and seeing a doctor for regular health screenings, such as the Medicare-funded <a href="https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/heart-health-checks">Heart Health Checks</a>. Programs directed at accident prevention, mental health and violence, especially gender-related violence, will address untimely deaths in the young.<!-- 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/231598/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/garry-jennings-5307"><em>Garry Jennings</em></a><em>, Professor of Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</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/1-in-5-deaths-are-caused-by-heart-disease-but-what-else-are-australians-dying-from-231598">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Here’s what happens to your body during plane turbulence – and how to reduce the discomfort it causes

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p>This week has seen another barrage of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/jan/22/uk-weather-storm-jocelyn-to-follow-isha-with-more-strong-winds-and-heavy-rain">unsettled weather</a> sweep across the UK, with many flights delayed or cancelled. Some of those who were fortunate enough to take off found themselves arriving at destinations that weren’t on their boarding passes – such as passengers travelling from Stansted to Newquay who eventually diverted to <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/storm-isha-creates-flight-diversion-142821278.html">Malaga</a>.</p> <p>One thing that was consistently described by passengers was that parts of the flights and the attempted landings were some of the most unnerving they’d ever experienced, due to turbulence.</p> <p>Turbulence results from uneven air movement, which is <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2023GL103814">increasing</a> in frequency. If you turn your hair dryer on at home and hold it still, the air moves at a constant rate, but once you begin drying your hair and moving the hairdryer around, the air movement becomes uneven, that is to say, turbulent.</p> <p>Although turbulence may be unnerving and make you feel unwell, it is important to recognise that it is very common and typically <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18018437/">nothing to worry about</a> if you’re in your seat with your seatbelt fastened.</p> <h2>How the body detects and responds to turbulence</h2> <p>The body recognises itself within any environment. Its relationship with objects in terms of distance and direction is called <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780123750006003414">spatial orientation</a>.</p> <p>When flying, this is typically moving forwards, ascending, some turns and a descent. However, turbulence disrupts this relationship and confuses the sensory information being received by the brain – it makes the body want to respond or recalibrate.</p> <p>Our inner ears play a pivotal role in all this. It consists of complex apparatuses that undertake more than hearing. These include the cochlea, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279394/">three semi-circular canals</a>, <a href="https://radiopaedia.org/articles/utricle-ear?lang=gb">the utricle</a> and <a href="https://radiopaedia.org/articles/saccule-ear-1?lang=gb">the saccule</a>.</p> <p>The cochlea is responsible for hearing. It converts <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531483/">sound energy into electrical energy</a> that is then “heard” by the brain. The remaining structures are responsible for the balance and position of the head and body. The semi-circular canals are positioned in a vertical (side to side), horizontal and front-to-back plane, detecting movement in a nodding, shaking and touching ear-to-shoulder direction.</p> <p>Attached to these canals are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532978/">the utricle and saccule</a>, which can detect <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10792/">movement</a> and <a href="https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(05)00837-7.pdf">acceleration</a>.</p> <p>All of these apparatuses use microscopic hair cells in a specialised fluid called <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531505/">endolymph</a> that flows with the head to create a sense of movement. When the plane encounters turbulence, this fluid moves around, but unpredictably. It takes <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518976/">about ten to 20 seconds</a> for the fluid to recalibrate its position, while the brain struggles to understand what is going on.</p> <p>When the aircraft hits turbulence, the balance apparatus <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2023.949227/full">cannot distinguish</a> the movement of the plane from that of the head, so the brain interprets the aircraft movement as that of the head or body. But this doesn’t match the visual information being received, which causes sensory confusion.</p> <p>The reason the inner ear causes so much confusion is because during flights you are devoid of your primary sensory tool relative to the external environment – your sight and the horizon.</p> <p>Eighty per cent of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518976/">spatial information</a> comes from your eyes during flight. However, you only have the seat in front of you or the cabin as a reference point, which means your inner ear becomes the dominant sensory message to the brain during turbulence and disrupts the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK545297/">“vestibulo-ocular reflex”</a>. This reflex keeps your vision <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4130651/">aligned</a> with your balance or expected position.</p> <p>Vision is the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777262/">most valued</a> of the senses and one-third of the brain is attributed to its function, reinforcing its importance in spatial orientation.</p> <p>This sensory mixed messaging often results in things like dizziness and sweating as well as gastrointestinal symptoms, such as <a href="https://www.airmedicaljournal.com/article/S1067-991X(02)70038-2/fulltext">nausea and vomiting</a>.</p> <p>Motion sickness can be triggered by turbulence and although research into specific airsickness is limited, other modes that induce motion sickness suggest that <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16018346/">women</a> are <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26466829/">more susceptible</a> than men, particularly in the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16235881/">early stages</a> of the menstrual cycle.</p> <p>The turbulence also causes an increase in your heart rate, which is already higher than normal when flying because of a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15819766/">decrease in oxygen saturation</a>.</p> <h2>What about the pilots?</h2> <p>Commercial pilots accrue thousands of hours at the controls, they are subject to the same forces as the passengers.</p> <p>Over time, they can <a href="https://academic.oup.com/milmed/article/180/11/1135/4160573">adapt to these forces</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15828634/">experiences</a>, but they also have a couple of additional resources that most passengers don’t.</p> <p>They have the view out of the cockpit windows, so have a horizon to use as a reference point and can see what lies immediately ahead.</p> <p>If it is cloudy or visibility is low, their instruments provide additional visual <a href="https://www.faa.gov/sites/faa.gov/files/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/phak/19_phak_ch17.pdf">reference</a> to the position of the aircraft. This doesn’t mean they are immune to the effects of turbulence, with some studies reporting up to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26540704/">71% of trainee pilots</a> reporting episodes of airsickness.</p> <h2>How to reduce the discomfort</h2> <p>A window seat can help, or even looking out the window. This gives the brain some sensory information through visual pathways, helping calm the brain in response to the vestibular information it is receiving.</p> <p>If you can get one, a seat towards the front or over the wing reduces the effects of turbulence.</p> <p>Deep or rhythmical breathing can help reduce motion sickness induced by turbulence. Focusing on your breathing <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25945662/">calms the nervous system</a>.</p> <p>Don’t reach for the alcohol. While you may feel it calms your nerves, if you hit turbulence it’s going to interfere with your <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7610847/">visual and auditory processing</a> and increase the likelihood of vomiting.</p> <p>If you suffer from motion sickness and are worried about turbulence while flying, then there are also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6241144/">drugs that can help</a>, including certain <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/cinnarizine/about-cinnarizine/">antihistamines</a>.</p> <p>Finally, it’s important to remember that although turbulence can be unpleasant, aircraft are designed to withstand the forces it generates and many passengers, even frequent fliers, will rarely encounter the most severe categories of turbulence because pilots actively plan routes to avoid it.<!-- 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/221780/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/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, Professor and Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</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/heres-what-happens-to-your-body-during-plane-turbulence-and-how-to-reduce-the-discomfort-it-causes-221780">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Tips

Placeholder Content Image

"It’s a nightmare": Star golfer's cause of death revealed

<p>Two-time PGA Tour winner Grayson Murray has died at the age of 30. </p> <p>Golf officials announced his death on Sunday morning, with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan releasing a statement. </p> <p>“We were devastated to learn — and are heartbroken to share — that PGA Tour player Grayson Murray passed away this morning,” Monahan said. </p> <p>“I am at a loss for words. The PGA Tour is a family, and when you lose a member of your family, you are never the same"</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Murray's parents later confirmed that their son took his own life, just one day after he withdrew from the second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge - a PGA Tour event  - due to illness. </span></p> <p>“We have spent the last 24 hours trying to come to terms with the fact that our son is gone,” his parents, Eric and Terry Murray said in a statement.</p> <p>“It’s surreal that we not only have to admit it to ourselves, but that we also have to acknowledge it to the world. It’s a nightmare.”</p> <p>"We have so many questions that have no answers. But one. Was Grayson loved? The answer is yes. By us, his brother Cameron, his sister Erica, all of his extended family, by his friends, by his fellow players and — it seems — by many of you who are reading this. He was loved and he will be missed.</p> <p>“Life wasn't always easy for Grayson, and although he took his own life, we know he rests peacefully now.”</p> <p>They have also asked for privacy and for people to honour Murray by being kind to one another. </p> <p>Murray has previously been open about his battle with depression and alcoholism, according to <em>The NY Post</em>. </p> <p>He talked about turning the corner in his life and being eight months sober, after winning the Sony Open in Honolulu in January. </p> <p>“It's not easy,” Murray said immediately after winning. "I wanted to give up a lot of times. Give up on myself. Give up on the game of golf. Give up on life, at times.”</p> <p>Murray tied for 43rd last week in the PGA Championship, which earned him a spot in the US Open next month at Pinehurst No.2 in North Carolina.</p> <p>The PGA Tour commissioner said he spoke with Murray's parents about halting play, but they insisted the golf tournament to continue. </p> <p>“We mourn Grayson and pray for comfort for his loved ones. I reached out to Grayson’s parents to offer our deepest condolences, and during that conversation, they asked that we continue with tournament play. They were adamant that Grayson would want us to do so," he said. </p> <p>Monahan flew to Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday to be with players, and many of them wore black-and-red pins on their caps - the colours of the Carolina Hurricanes, Grayson's favourite NHL team - to honour the golfer. </p> <p><em>Image: Daniel Lea/Csm/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Line of Duty star's cause of death revealed

<p>The sister of <em>Line of Duty</em> star Brian McCardie has thanked loved ones and fans for their support since the tragic passing of her brother, while also revealing what caused his sudden death at the age of 59. </p> <p>Sarah McCardie shared a lengthy post on social media thanking people for their "overwhelming support" during the difficult time, adding that the Scottish actor will be laid to rest in a funeral on May 23rd at a church in his home country.</p> <p>She also revealed that Brian died due to an aortic dissection, a tear in the aorta.</p> <p>"The McCardie family would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support regarding the sudden passing of Brian James McCardie - beloved son, brother, uncle &amp; friend," she wrote.</p> <p>"Brian died due to an aortic dissection, causing short pain and a sudden death."</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/C7AAl3vLkfz/?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/C7AAl3vLkfz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Sarah McCardie (@sarahmccardie)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"There will be a funeral mass held on Thursday 23rd May... where we will celebrate Brian's life before he takes his final bow."</p> <p>Sarah, who is also an actress, previously confirmed the news of his death in a heartbreaking tribute post to her late sibling, saying he "is gone much too soon".</p> <p>"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Brian James McCardie (59), beloved son, brother, uncle and dear friend to so many," her post began.</p> <p>"Brian passed away suddenly at home on Sunday 28th April. A wonderful and passionate actor on stage and screen, Brian loved his work and touched many lives, and is gone much too soon."</p> <p>"We love him and will miss him greatly; please remember Brian in your thoughts."</p> <p>The post was flooded with comments of condolences, as one person wrote, "One of Scotland's greats on both the stage and the screen."</p> <p>McCardie was best known for his role as Tommy Hunter on BBC's <em>Line of Duty</em>, the show <em>Time</em> with Sean Bean, and the film <em>Rob Roy</em> co-starring Liam Neeson.</p> <p><em>Image credits: BBC / Instagram </em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Kevin Bacon returns to Footloose roots for a special cause

<p>Kevin Bacon has taken a step back in time to return to the Utah high school where the 1984 movie <em>Footloose</em> was filmed. </p> <p>Students at Payson High School launched the #BacontoPayson social media campaign several months ago in an attempt to get the Hollywood legend to attend the school's final prom. </p> <p>The high schoolers recreated movie scenes and choreographed videos in the hopes of capturing Bacon's attention, willing him to return to the school before the campus relocates at the end of the school year. </p> <p>The online campaign worked, as the 65-year-old actor returned to Payson on Saturday where he addressed the students and praised their valiant efforts to get him back to the iconic school, but not before striding onto the stage while the iconic song <em>Footloose</em> blared through the grounds. </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/C6CNgyNJOrk/?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/C6CNgyNJOrk/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by SixDegrees.org (@sixdegreesofkb)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"When I first heard about this Bacon to Payson thing, I was like, 'Wow, this is crazy.' But you were all just tireless," Bacon said in his speech on the school's football field on Saturday, according to <em><a title="" href="https://www.abc4.com/news/wasatch-front/kevin-bacon-returns-to-payson-high-on-prom-night-for-40th-anniversary-of-footloose/" target="" rel="">ABC7</a></em>. "You talked me into it."</p> <p>As part of Payson High School's effort to get Bacon back on campus, they pledged to create 5000 essential resource kits to help his <a href="https://www.sixdegrees.org/footloose" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sixdegrees.org</a> foundation, which benefits underserved and under-resourced communities.</p> <p>The organisation has a goal of packing and distributing up to 40,000 kits as part of its "Footloose40" initiative, which marks the 40th anniversary of the film's release. </p> <p>In his speech on Saturday, Bacon thanked the students for "turning what could be just a movie star coming back to get a pat on the back into something really positive."</p> <p>Bacon was awarded with an honorary Payson High School diploma, posed for photos with students and even swung by his locker during his visit during his visit.</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok / Paramount Pictures</em></p>

Movies

Placeholder Content Image

Eye infections might seem like a minor complaint – but in some cases they can cause blindness and even death

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p>When you think of eye infections, what comes to mind? Puffy, swollen bruised feeling eyelids that get glued together with gunk overnight? That feeling of having grit in your eye that can’t be cleaned away? Eye infections may seem like a relatively minor – if unsightly and inconvenient – complaint, but they can also be far more serious.</p> <p>Take the deadly outbreak of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5022785/">antibiotic resistant</a> bacteria <a href="https://www.cff.org/managing-cf/burkholderia-cepacia-complex-b-cepacia"><em>Burkholderia cepacia</em></a> in 2023-24, for example.</p> <p>Between January 2023 and February 2024, contaminated brands of lubricating eye gel were linked to the infection of at least 52 patients. <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/contaminated-eye-gel-outbreak-death-b2523446.html">One person died</a> and at least 25 others suffered serious infections.</p> <p>The outbreak has now subsided and products are <a href="https://www.gov.uk/drug-device-alerts/specific-brands-of-carbomer-eye-gel-recall-of-aacarb-eye-gel-aacomer-eye-gel-and-puroptics-eye-gel-potential-risk-of-infection-dsi-slash-2023-slash-11#update-2-april-2024">back on the shelves</a> but it isn’t the first time that <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8335909/">medicinal products</a> have led to outbreaks of <em>B cepacia</em>.</p> <p>The bacterium is an opportunistic pathogen known to pose a significant risk to people with cystic fibrosis, chronic lung conditions and weakened immune systems. The infection likely progresses from the mucous membranes of the eyelids to the lungs where it leads to pneumonia and septicaemia causing <a href="https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/17/2/295">death in days</a>.</p> <p>But it’s not just <em>B cepacia</em> that can threaten our health. Something as simple as rubbing our eyes can introduce pathogens leading to infection, blindness and, in the worst case, death.</p> <p>Bacteria account for up to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16148850/">70% of eye infections</a> and globally <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9032492/">over 6 million people</a> have blindness or moderate visual impairment from ocular infection. Contact lens wearers are at <a href="https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/contact-lens-related-eye-infections">increased risk</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pWsx8i1kaxs?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>The eye is a unique structure. It converts light energy to chemical and then electrical energy, which is transmitted to the brain and converted to a picture. The eye uses about <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11556/">6 million cones and 120 million rods</a> which detect colour and light.</p> <p>Eye cells have <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8775779/">no ability to regenerate</a> so, once damaged or injured, cannot be repaired or replaced. The body tries its best to preserve the eyes by encasing them in a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531490/">bony protective frame</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482428/">limiting exposure</a> having eyelids to defend against the environmental damage and ensure the eyes are kept lubricated.</p> <p>Despite our bodies’ best efforts to shield the eyes from harm, there are a number of common eye infections that can result from introducing potential pathogens into the eyes.</p> <h2>Conjunctivitis</h2> <p>The outer-most layer of the eye, the sclera, bears the brunt of exposure and to help protect it, it is lined by a thin moist membrane called the <a href="https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/24329-conjunctiva">conjunctiva</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RZ4danuJwd0?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>The conjunctiva is <a href="https://innovations.bmj.com/content/9/4/253">highly vascularised</a>, which means it has lots of blood vessels. When microbes enter the eye, it is this layer that mounts an immune response causing <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8328962/">blood vessels to dilate</a> in the conjunctiva. This results in <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/conjunctivitis/about/symptoms.html">“pink eye”</a>, a common form of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can be caused by bacteria, allergens or viruses and typically heals by itself.</p> <h2>Blepharitis</h2> <p>Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelid and usually affects both sides. It can cause itchy eyes and dandruff-like flakes. It’s most commonly caused by <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3109/09273948.2013.870214"><em>Staphylococcus</em> bacteria</a>, or the <a href="https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/blepharitis/background-information/causes/">dysfunction of the glands</a> of the eyelids. It can be treated by <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/blepharitis/">cleaning the eyes</a> regularly.</p> <h2>Stye</h2> <p>A stye (also called <a href="https://www.college-optometrists.org/clinical-guidance/clinical-management-guidelines/hordeolum">hordeolum</a>) is a painful infection of the upper or lower eyelid. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5370090/">Internal styes</a> are caused by infection of an oil-producing gland inside the eyelid, whereas <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28723014/">external styes</a> develop at the base of the eyelash because of an infection of the hair follicle. Both are caused by bacteria, typically <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/1874715">the <em>S aureus</em> form of the <em>Staphylococcus</em> species</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/INKrGOdy824?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Styes can be treated by holding a clean flannel soaked in warm water against the affected eye for five to ten minutes, three or four times a day. Do not try to burst styes – this could spread the infection.</p> <h2>Keratitis</h2> <p>Keratitis is the inflammation of the cornea, the transparent part of the eye that light passes through. The cornea is part of the eye’s main barrier against dirt, germs, and disease. Severe keratitis can cause ulcers, damage to the eye and even blindness.</p> <p>The most common type is bacterial keratitis; however, it can also be caused by <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7998329/">amoeba</a>, which can migrate to other parts of the body – including the brain – and cause infection and <a href="https://theconversation.com/nasal-rinsing-why-flushing-the-nasal-passages-with-tap-water-to-tackle-hay-fever-could-be-fatal-225811">even death</a>.</p> <p>Noninfectious keratitis is most commonly caused by wearing contact lenses for too long, especially while sleeping. This can cause scratches, dryness and soreness of the cornea, which leads to inflammation.</p> <h2>Uveitis</h2> <p><a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/uveitis/">Uveitis</a> is inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. Although relatively rare, it is a serious condition and usually results from viral infections such as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8501150/">herpes simplex</a>, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29023181/">herpes zoster</a> or <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-09126-6_40">trauma</a>. Depending on where the inflammation is in the eye, the symptoms can be anything from redness, pain and floaters to blurred vision and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1772296/">partial blindness</a>.</p> <h2>Exogenous endophthalmitis</h2> <p>This is a rare but serious infection caused by eye surgery complications, penetrating ocular trauma (being stabbed in the eye with a sharp object) or foreign bodies in the eye. Foreign bodies can be anything from dirt and dust to small projectiles such as shards of metal from drilling, explosives or soil from farm machinery and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7286045/">many other sources</a>.</p> <h2>Dacryocystitis</h2> <p>Dacryocystitis is the inflammation of the nasolacrimal sac, which drains tears away from the eye into the nose. This condition can be <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8443113/">acute</a>, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/6700662">chronic</a> or <a href="https://www.jebmh.com/articles/a-study-of-congenital-dacryocystitis.pdf.pdf">acquired at birth</a>. Most cases are caused by <a href="https://bmcophthalmol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12886-020-01792-4"><em>Streptococcus pneumoniae</em> and <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em></a> bacteria.</p> <p>The condition mainly affects newborns and those over 40. Seventy-five per cent of cases are women and it’s most commonly found in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6039673/">white adults</a>. It can lead to the stagnation of tears, creating a breeding ground for microbes.</p> <h2>Careful with contacts</h2> <p>Proper eye hygiene reduces the risk of all these conditions – and this is even more important for contact lens wearers.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uENHAntJOIA?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Appropriate hygienic cleaning of lenses is paramount. <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30789440/">Non-sterile water</a>, <a href="https://www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts/contact-lens-care">spit</a> and other fluids can transfer <a href="https://www.science.org/content/article/bacteria-living-your-contact-lens-solution">potentially dangerous</a> <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3482476/">microbes</a> into the eye – a warm, moist environment that makes an ideal breeding ground for bacteria – leading to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9542356/">localised infection</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3972779/">blindness</a> or progress to a more serious <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9835757/">systemic infection or death</a>.</p> <p>Any persistent and painful redness or swelling of eyes should be checked by a registered health professional.<!-- 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/227252/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/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, Professor and Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster 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/eye-infections-might-seem-like-a-minor-complaint-but-in-some-cases-they-can-cause-blindness-and-even-death-227252">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Flash droughts are becoming more common in Australia. What’s causing them?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/milton-speer-703091">Milton Speer</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lance-m-leslie-437774">Lance M Leslie</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://www.drought.gov/what-is-drought/flash-drought">Flash droughts</a> strike suddenly and intensify rapidly. Often the affected areas are in drought after just weeks or a couple of months of well-below-average rainfall. They happen worldwide and are <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/377274397_Flash_drought_A_state_of_the_science_review?_tp=eyJjb250ZXh0Ijp7ImZpcnN0UGFnZSI6InB1YmxpY2F0aW9uRG93bmxvYWQiLCJwYWdlIjoicHVibGljYXRpb24iLCJwcmV2aW91c1BhZ2UiOiJwdWJsaWNhdGlvbiJ9fQ#read">becoming more common</a>, including in Australia, due to global warming.</p> <p>Flash droughts can occur anywhere and at any time of the year. Last year, a flash drought <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-20/dams-dry-up-as-drought-takes-hold-in-hunter-valley/102996364">hit the Upper Hunter</a> region of New South Wales, roughly 300 kilometres north-west of Sydney.</p> <p>These sudden droughts can have devastating economic, social and environmental impacts. The damage is particularly severe for agricultural regions heavily dependent on reliable rain in river catchments. One such region is the Upper Hunter Valley, the subject of our <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/12/4/49">new research</a>.</p> <p>We identified two climate drivers – the <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/about/?bookmark=enso">El Niño Southern Oscillation</a> and <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/about/?bookmark=iod">Indian Ocean Dipole</a>) – that became influential during this drought. In addition, the waning influence of a third climate driver, the <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/about/?bookmark=sam">Southern Annular Mode</a>), would typically bring rain to the east coast. However, this rain did not reach the Upper Hunter.</p> <p>Flash droughts are set to get more common as the world heats up. This year, a flash drought developed over western and central Victoria over just two months. While heavy rain this month in Melbourne ended the drought there, it continues in the west.</p> <h2>What makes a flash drought different?</h2> <p>Flash droughts differ from more slowly developing droughts. The latter result from extended drops in rainfall, such as the <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/">drought affecting</a> parts of southwest Western Australia due to the much shortened winter wet season last year.</p> <p>Flash droughts develop when sudden large drops in rainfall coincide with above-average temperatures. They mostly occur in summer and autumn, as was the case for Asia and Europe in 2022. That year saw flash droughts appear across the northern hemisphere, such as the megadrought affecting China’s <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/acfe21">Yangtze river basin</a> and <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352340923000264?via%3Dihub">Spain</a>.</p> <p>The flash drought devastating the Upper Hunter from May to October 2023 developed despite the region being drought-free just one month earlier. At that stage, almost nowhere in NSW showed any sign of an impending drought.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/586776/original/file-20240409-18-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/586776/original/file-20240409-18-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=276&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586776/original/file-20240409-18-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=276&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586776/original/file-20240409-18-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=276&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586776/original/file-20240409-18-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=347&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586776/original/file-20240409-18-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=347&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586776/original/file-20240409-18-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=347&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Maps of drought conditions in NSW in April 2023 compared to the next six months" /><figcaption><span class="caption">NSW Department of Primary Industries’ combined drought indicator in April 2023 (a) and combined drought indicator for May–October 2023 (b) show how rapidly a flash drought developed in the Upper Hunter region.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Milton Speer et al 2024, using NSW Department of Primary Industries' data</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>The flash drought greatly affected agricultural production in the Upper Hunter region, due to the region’s reliance on water from rivers. Low rainfall in river catchments means less water for crops and pasture. It also dries up drinking water supplies.</p> <p>Flash droughts are characterised by abrupt periods of low rainfall leading to rapid drought onset, particularly when accompanied by above-average temperatures. Higher temperatures increase both the evaporation of water from the soil and transpiration from plants (evapotranspiration). This causes soil moisture to drop rapidly.</p> <h2>The Upper Hunter drought is part of a trend</h2> <p>Flash droughts will be more common in the future. That’s because higher temperatures will more often coincide with dry conditions, as relative humidity falls <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/377274397_Flash_drought_A_state_of_the_science_review_tp=eyJjb250ZXh0Ijp7ImZpcnN0UGFnZSI6InB1YmxpY2F0aW9uRG93bmxvYWQiLCJwYWdlIjoicHVibGljYXRpb24iLCJwcmV2aW91c1BhZ2UiOiJwdWJsaWNhdGlvbiJ9fQ#read">across many parts</a> of Australia and globally.</p> <p>Climate change is <a href="https://climate.ec.europa.eu/climate-change/consequences-climate-change_en">linked to</a> shorter, heavier bursts of rain followed by longer periods of little rainfall.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/586777/original/file-20240409-16-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/586777/original/file-20240409-16-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=196&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586777/original/file-20240409-16-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=196&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586777/original/file-20240409-16-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=196&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586777/original/file-20240409-16-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=246&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586777/original/file-20240409-16-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=246&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586777/original/file-20240409-16-n82npo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=246&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Map of Upper Hunter region showing drought indicators in December 2023" /><figcaption><span class="caption">Intense drought conditions continued in the Upper Hunter in December 2023.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Milton Speer et al 2024</span></span></figcaption></figure> <figure class="align-right "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/586778/original/file-20240409-16-www3a.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/586778/original/file-20240409-16-www3a.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=376&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586778/original/file-20240409-16-www3a.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=376&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586778/original/file-20240409-16-www3a.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=376&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586778/original/file-20240409-16-www3a.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=472&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586778/original/file-20240409-16-www3a.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=472&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586778/original/file-20240409-16-www3a.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=472&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Map of NSW showing average temperature ranges recorded for May–October 2023." /><figcaption><span class="caption">The sharp drop in rainfall coincided with the Upper Hunter’s highest average maximum temperatures on record for May–October 2023.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Milton Speer et al 2024</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>In south-east and south-west Australia, flash droughts can also occur in winter.</p> <p>In May 2023 rainfall over south-east Australia dropped abruptly. The much lower rainfall continued until November in the Upper Hunter. Over this same period, mean maximum temperatures in the region were the highest on record, increasing the loss of moisture through evapotranspiration. The result was a flash drought. While flash droughts occurred in other parts of south-east Australia, we focused on the Upper Hunter as it remained in drought the longest.</p> <h2>What were the climate drivers of this drought?</h2> <p>We used machine-learning techniques to identify the key climate drivers of the drought.</p> <p>We found the dominant driver of the flash drought was global warming, modulated by the phases of the three major climate drivers in our region, the El Niño Southern Oscillation, Indian Ocean Dipole and the Southern Annular Mode.</p> <p>From 2020 to 2022, the first two drivers became favourable for rain in the Upper Hunter in late winter through spring, before changing phase to one supporting drought over south-east Australia. Meanwhile, the Southern Annular Mode remained mostly positive, meaning rain-bearing westerly winds and weather fronts had moved to middle and higher latitudes of the southern hemisphere, away from Australia’s south-east coast.</p> <p>Combined, the impact of global warming with the three climate drivers made rainfall much more variable. The net result was an atmospheric environment highly conducive to a flash drought appearing anywhere in south-east Australia.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/586248/original/file-20240405-16-ti5j3m.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/586248/original/file-20240405-16-ti5j3m.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/586248/original/file-20240405-16-ti5j3m.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=464&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586248/original/file-20240405-16-ti5j3m.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=464&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586248/original/file-20240405-16-ti5j3m.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=464&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586248/original/file-20240405-16-ti5j3m.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=583&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586248/original/file-20240405-16-ti5j3m.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=583&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/586248/original/file-20240405-16-ti5j3m.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=583&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Map of Upper Hunter region showing drought indicators in December 2023" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Intense drought conditions continued in the Upper Hunter in December 2023.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Milton Speer et al 2024</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Victoria, too, fits the global warming pattern</h2> <p>As for the flash drought that developed in early 2024 over western and central Victoria, including Melbourne, it continues in parts of <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/#msdynttrid=_ytsVsw1a3IFZ7xGCnQz8mw1Gum_n_0JUdQyt2hUVCo">western Victoria</a>. The flash drought followed very high January rainfall (top 5% of records) dropping rapidly to very low rainfall (bottom 5%) in February and March.</p> <p>It was the <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/maps/rainfall/?variable=rainfall&amp;map=decile&amp;period=2month&amp;region=vc&amp;year=2024&amp;month=03&amp;day=31">driest February-March period</a> on record for Melbourne and south-west Victoria.</p> <p>At the beginning of April, a storm front <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/severe-weather-storm-warning-for-victoria-and-melbourne-easter-monday/41d5d383-b70d-4d36-a649-38632bc607de">brought heavy rainfall</a> over an 18-hour period to central Victoria, including Melbourne.</p> <p>The rains ended the flash drought in these areas, but it continues in parts of western Victoria, which missed out on the rain.</p> <p>The pattern of the 2024 flash drought in Victoria typifies the increasing trend under global warming of long dry periods, interspersed by short, heavy rainfall events. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/227052/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/milton-speer-703091"><em>Milton Speer</em></a><em>, Visiting Fellow, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lance-m-leslie-437774">Lance M Leslie</a>, Professor, School of Mathematical And Physical Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology 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/flash-droughts-are-becoming-more-common-in-australia-whats-causing-them-227052">original article</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Marcia Hines reveals the true cause of her collapse

<p><em>Australian Idol</em> judge and iconic singer Marcia Hines has recently disclosed the harrowing details behind her backstage collapse on the eve of the show's Grand Finale.</p> <p>The 70-year-old singing legend was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/marcia-hines-rushed-to-hospital" target="_blank" rel="noopener">rushed to the hospital</a> after collapsing in her dressing room at the Sydney Coliseum Theatre on March 24, sending shockwaves through the entertainment industry and leaving fans concerned for her well-being.</p> <p>Initially, speculation surrounded the incident, with many attributing it to her well-known battle with diabetes. However, in an exclusive interview with <em>The Daily Telegraph</em>, Hines unveiled the true cause – a urinary tract infection (UTI).</p> <p>"I don't know what happened," she shared, recounting the frightening moment. "I was about to go and do the semi-final for <em>Australian Idol</em>... I was sitting down, stood up, and fell over."</p> <p>“I had a urinary tract infection,” she added, referring to it as a “chick thing”.</p> <p>UTIs can wreak havoc on one's health, particularly in older individuals like Hines. They can lead to complications such as low blood pressure, resulting in dizziness, weakness and fainting – precisely the symptoms Hines experienced. Following her collapse, she required stitches on her forehead, but her determination to <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/marcia-hines-returns-as-australian-idol-fans-cry-foul-over-upset-win" target="_blank" rel="noopener">return for the show's final episode</a> was unwavering.</p> <p>Despite pleas from her doctor to take it easy, Hines leveraged her "bargaining power" and convinced him to allow her to fulfil her commitment to <em>Australian Idol</em>. "That's show business," she quipped.</p> <p>Following the Grand Finale, Hines did return to the hospital for further treatment, where she remained under observation for several days.</p> <p>Reflecting on the ordeal, Hines expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support she received from fans, friends and medical professionals. In an Instagram post, she acknowledged the exceptional healthcare system in Australia, particularly praising the efforts of the hospital staff who attended to her during her stay. Additionally, she extended her appreciation to the<em> Australian Idol</em> team and her colleagues at <em>Grease: The Musical</em>, where she holds a cameo role.</p> <p>Looking ahead, with her Idol commitments concluded for the year, Hines now shifts her focus to her role in <em>Grease: The Musical</em>, which is currently captivating audiences in Sydney before embarking on a tour to Perth.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Surprising causes of most deaths on Australia’s beaches

<p>Worried about sharks at the beach? Turns out these fearsome fish are not the biggest killers on Australia’s coastline when it comes to non-drowning deaths.</p> <div class="copy"> <p>Instead, depending on a person’s age, it’s more likely that a heart problem or misadventure will lead to mortality, according to research from Surf Life Saving Australia, whose red-and-gold clad patrol teams provide patrol and rescue services for beaches across the country.</p> <p>More than half of non-drowning deaths in the decade between July 2012 and June 2022 were caused by cardiac-related conditions. These accounted for 319 of the 616 deaths along Australia’s coasts.</p> <p>Traumatic and collision injuries – such as blunt force trauma – were the next most common cause of death, accounting for fewer than 1 in 6 deaths.</p> <p>Falls accounted for 1 in 10 fatalities, with marine animal interactions 1 in 20.</p> <p>But the data has other insights beyond cause of death. Males were far more likely to be killed on the coast; victims in almost 9 out of 10 cases.</p> <p>And while people aged over 50 account for most deaths, primarily through cardiac conditions, those below the age of 50 are overrepresented in all other mortality cases.</p> <p>This, the researchers say, is an important consideration when interpreting the data, as deaths from any cause are highest among older people. </p> <p>“Our research showed that males were 5.2 times more likely to die than females, with younger populations found to die disproportionately along the coast with the primary causes being falls and traumatic/collision injuries,” says the study’s lead researcher, Sean Kelly.</p> <p>Kelly and the other SLSA researchers point to those all-cause mortality comparisons. People aged 70+ have 118 times greater all-cause death rate than people aged 16-24.</p> <p>But when looking at non-drowning coastal deaths, it’s only 6 times greater, highlighting disproportionate deaths among young people in these environments.</p> <p>They suggest this is due to higher levels of coastal visitation and the type of activities young people participate in. Where a person lives also matters.</p> <p>“Those living in or visiting rural and remote areas were also found to be at higher risk, largely due to poorer access to services and longer incident response times,” Kelly says.</p> <p>“<a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/nature/marine-life/shark-attack-triggers-shark-cul/">While sharks are often top-of-mind for those visiting the beach</a>, all marine creatures including sharks and jellyfish only made up 5% of non-drowning deaths and less than 2% of overall coastal deaths.”</p> <p><em>The study was <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anzjph.2023.100113" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">published</a> in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.</em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <div> <p align="center"><noscript data-spai="1"><em><img decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-198773" src="https://cdn.shortpixel.ai/spai/q_lossy+ret_img+to_auto/cosmosmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/MICROSCOPIC-TO-TELESCOPIC__Embed-graphic-720x360-1.jpg" data-spai-egr="1" width="600" alt="Buy cosmos print magazine" title="surprising causes of most deaths on australia’s beaches 2"></em></noscript></p> </div> <p><em><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=300638&amp;title=Surprising+causes+of+most+deaths+on+Australia%E2%80%99s+beaches" width="1" height="1" loading="lazy" aria-label="Syndication Tracker" data-spai-target="src" data-spai-orig="" data-spai-exclude="nocdn" /></em><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/australia/surprising-causes-of-most-deaths-on-australias-beaches/">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/matthew-agius/">Matthew Ward Agius</a>. Matthew Agius is a science writer for Cosmos Magazine.</em></div>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Mistake in email causes Virgin Australia passenger to miss flight

<p>A Virgin Australia passenger was left $800 out of pocket after he arrived at a closed check-in desk despite arriving well before the departure time, and he now believes that it's because of a mistake in the email he received from the airline. </p> <p>Max Cameron, 64, flies several times a week between Launceston airport in Tasmania and Melbourne for work, and received an email from the airline saying his flight was delayed back in January. </p> <p>"I got a text and an email from Virgin saying, very sorry to let you know your plane has been delayed by 45 minutes,"  he told <em>Yahoo News Australia</em>. </p> <p>The email also read "Check-in will now close 30 minutes prior to this time."</p> <p>"I thought, well done Virgin. You've come through… you've let me know when I have to be there. And as a result, I got out to the airport at 9:25pm for a 9:45pm closure of check-in," Cameron said. </p> <p>However when he arrived there was "literally not one person in the Virgin terminal,"  so he eventually had to leave, with no choice but to buy another flight ticket which cost him $800 including extra accommodation and transport costs. </p> <p>"I put my tail between the legs, went back and bought another ticket. I was very annoyed about that but I had no choice... check-in closed early," he said.</p> <p>After submitting an enquiry to the customer service team, they told him he had to arrive 30 minutes before the <em>original</em> departure time - a different instruction to what he received in the email, with the revised departure time. </p> <p>At the time, the enquiry was closed and the team said he would not receive any compensation. </p> <p>Cameron, who was unsatisfied with the response, then spoke to a supervisor at the airport, who told him: "Oh my God, it looks like they sent you the wrong email".</p> <p>According to Yahoo News Australia, Cameron reportedly did receive incorrect information which led him to miss his flight. </p> <p>Cameron has since been in touch with the airline and hopes to be reimbursed, but remains "unhappy" after what he had to go through. </p> <p>"It's not the money but the lack of accountability... there is no service mentality anymore," he said.</p> <p>"What Virgin has done to me is just so wrong".</p> <p><em style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;">Images: Yahoo News / Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Rocky actor's cause of death revealed

<p>Carl Weathers' cause of death has been revealed, almost two weeks after his passing as his death certificate was made public. </p> <p>The <em>Rocky</em> actor passed away on February 1st at his home in California surrounded by his loved ones at the age of 76. </p> <p>As revealed in his death certificate, Weathers cause of death has been listed as  "atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease", which the <a title="Australian Institute of Health and Welfare" href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-disease/hsvd-facts/contents/introduction#:~:text=Many%20forms%20of%20CVD%20are,the%20brain%20(causing%20stroke)." target="" rel="">Australian Institute of Health and Welfare</a> defines as "deposits of fat, cholesterol and other substances build up in the inner lining of the arteries to form plaque".</p> <p>The certificate also stated that his son Matthew Weathers was the one who alerted authorities to the death which was deemed "natural",  and also revealed that the family will be bringing home the actor's ashes after he is cremated.</p> <p>News of the actor's death was delivered by his family via a statement to <em><a href="https://deadline.com/2024/02/carl-weathers-dead-1235812684/#recipient_hashed=fd02bd8d6a1f88066ce877149ed7f5ed7c004c09a8d6405a72df635b0b72a9c3&recipient_salt=8a8541796b6f9250815f1cf923857155082cf85977a93234b6e9f290c850721c" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Deadline</a></em>, which read, "We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers."</p> <p>"Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life. Through his contributions to film, television, the arts and sports, he has left an indelible mark and is recognised worldwide and across generations. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner and friend."</p> <p>The actor is most well known for his role as Apollo Creed in four instalments of <em>Rocky</em>, as well as in <em>Predator</em>, <em>Happy Gilmore</em>, and <em>Arrested Development</em>, <em>The Mandalorian</em> and many others. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

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

Placeholder Content Image

Alec Musser’s cause of death revealed

<p dir="ltr">Alec Musser’s official cause of death has been revealed, just days after he <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/all-my-children-star-dies-at-age-50">passed away</a> at the age of 50.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to a San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office press release, the soap actor died by suicide. </p> <p dir="ltr">The report states that Musser’s fiancée, Paige Press, found the late actor “seated and slumped forward on the bathroom floor” on the morning of January 13. He was last seen alive the night prior.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Paramedics and law enforcement responded and confirmed the death,” the press release also states.</p> <p dir="ltr">News of Musser’s death first broke after the actor’s uncle confirmed to <a href="https://www.tmz.com/2024/01/13/alec-musser-model-actor-all-my-children-dead-dies/#xd_co_f=YTM5MzVmOGQtNTY4My00NWE1LThjNDctMTUxMjJlNjVhMWNj~" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TMZ</a> that he died at his home in Del Mar, California. </p> <p dir="ltr">Following the announcement, the bereaved fiancée released a heartfelt statement on social media.</p> <p dir="ltr">“RIP to the love of my life,” Press wrote in a tribute on Instagram, “I will never stop loving you. My heart is broken.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Alec Musser starred in <em>All My Children</em> from 2005 to 2007, appearing in a total of 43 episodes. </p> <p dir="ltr">He landed the role on the long-running soap after he won the second season of the SOAPnet original series <em>I Wanna Be a Soap Star</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">After his stint on the show, he went on to feature in other TV series including <em>Grown Ups</em>, <em>Rita Rocks</em>, <em>Desperate Housewives</em> and <em>Road to the Altar</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">After hearing the news of his death, many of Musser’s fans took to the comment section of his last post and shared their condolences.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m in shock brother. You were a dear friend and will always be remembered," one fan wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">Celebrity friend Adam Sandler also shared a tribute to Musser, writing on Instagram, "I loved this guy. Cannot believe he is gone. Such a wonderful, funny good man. Thinking of Alec Musser and his family and sending all my love. A true great sweetheart of a person."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Socceroos star's cause of death revealed

<p>Former Socceroos star Stephen Laybutt is believed to have taken his own life over the weekend. </p> <p>The 46-year-old had been visiting friends in Casuarina, in northern New South Wales, on Friday before he was reported missing the following day. </p> <p>The massive search for the former football player came to a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/search-for-missing-socceroo-ends-in-tragedy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tragic end</a> on Sunday, after his body was found in NSW bushland near Cabarita, where he was last seen. </p> <p>NSW Police have reportedly ruled out both misadventure and a medical episode, and revealed that his death was not being treated as suspicious. </p> <p>A report will also be prepared for the coroner. </p> <p>The talented footballer played 15 matches for the Socceroos between 2000 and 2004, while also representing Australia while playing for the Olyroos at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. </p> <p>Laybutt struggled with keeping his sexuality private throughout his career, and came out as gay after he retired. </p> <p>“Nobody knew. It takes a fair bit of effort to hide like that,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2021.</p> <p>“Just lying to yourself all the time. That breaks you, and you head down a path of self-destruction.”</p> <p>At the time, he recalled how he had "spiralled out of control" because he thought that things would get easier after coming out. </p> <p>But things improved when he met his partner, Michael Lutteral, in 2010.</p> <p>In the days after his passing, Laybutt's friends have paid tribute to the Socceroos legend. </p> <p>"I can't stop thinking about the pain he must have been in," one friend wrote on social media. </p> <p>"I don't think you realised how many lives you touched and how many people loved you," another wrote. </p> <p>"I'll never forget you mate, love ya." </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Caring

Our Partners