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“Kick in the face”: Why not everyone's happy that Molly’s going home

<p>The recent decision to <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/molly-the-magpie-is-going-home" target="_blank" rel="noopener">return Molly the magpie</a> to a Gold Coast couple and their two dogs Ruby and Peggy has sparked a contentious debate, which one wildlife advocate <a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/molly-the-magpie-decision-labelled-a-kick-in-the-face-for-wildlife-carers-040736042.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">described to Yahoo News</a> as "a kick in the face". Queensland Premier Steven Miles' announcement has divided opinions, stirring anger among wildlife volunteers while receiving overwhelming praise from a vast portion of the public, particularly followers of the popular social media pages featuring Molly.</p> <p>Molly, the magpie turned social media sensation, has captured the hearts of over two million followers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. However, her rise to fame was marred by allegations of being taken from the wild without proper authorisation. The decision to return Molly to Juliette Wells and Reece Mortensen, the couple behind the Peggy and Molly pages, has left wildlife advocates concerned about the message it sends regarding the treatment of wildlife and the enforcement of regulations.</p> <p>Despite the concerns raised by wildlife advocates, the decision to return Molly appears to have widespread public support. Premier Miles' Facebook post announcing Molly's return garnered significant positive feedback, with many expressing joy at the news. However, some questioned the delay in the decision-making process and criticised the handling of the situation by the Department of Environment and Science and its staff.</p> <p>The saga surrounding Molly's return unfolded amid public pressure, fuelled by social media campaigns and posts from Wells herself, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/i-miss-my-bestie-new-appeal-after-molly-s-family-left-in-the-dark" target="_blank" rel="noopener">expressing frustration at the lack of response</a> from government officials.</p> <p>The controversy surrounding Molly's return raises broader questions about wildlife rehabilitation, human-animal interactions, and the role of social media in shaping public perception. While Wells maintained that Molly was cared for in a manner consistent with fostering her natural instincts, authorities expressed concerns about the potential negative impact of human habituation on the bird's ability to thrive in the wild.</p> <p>Critics argue that Molly's return sets a dangerous precedent, potentially encouraging others to take wild animals into captivity for social media fame. The financial gains associated with Molly's social media presence certainly raise ethical questions about the commodification of wildlife for entertainment purposes.</p> <p>Amid escalating tensions surrounding the case, calls for civility and respect have been made, urging individuals to engage in constructive dialogue rather than resorting to hostility and abuse. None more powerful than the message coming directly from Molly's adoptive carers:</p> <p>"NO AGGRESSION," Juliette Wells repeatedly said to her followers on Instagram. "Be kind - remember what these 3 best friends have shown the world: Love & acceptance in differences. We all have differences in opinions let’s just voice them in a positive way for this Famous Magpie Molly."</p> <p>While Molly's return may be celebrated by some, it reignites discussions about the ethical treatment of wildlife and the responsibilities of both individuals and authorities in safeguarding native species. </p> <p>But the last word again goes to Wells, who has clearly endured a great deal throughout this entire ordeal – including being "harassed, defamed & bullied"<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">:</span></p> <p>"What a journey to get here," wrote Wells, following the news of Molly's impending return. "Having a hole in our hearts that we never thought would heal. Constantly thinking about this little magpie who was full of life and personality sitting in a cage lost and alone. Our hearts breaking Watching our girls looking around for Molly or out the window for hours waiting to see their best friend again.</p> <p>"Being forced by a certain media outlet to make the announcement before we were ready to deliver it in a mindful way to our millions of supporters.</p> <p>"We have become a meme, an interview question & the topic of conversation around the world.</p> <p>"We have be Harassed, defamed & bullied by a small minority of people.</p> <p>"Suddenly being plunged onto the world stage after the QLD premier stepped in. Constantly Hitting brick walls trying to get answers from the dept about Molly & his whereabouts.</p> <p>"We want to thankyou you the people for your voices , for standing by us & making this happen . The messages , emails , phone calls & thousands of signatures on petitions . The love , support and sheer determination for a cause is what you have done & is what has kept us going . We have shown the world what can be achieved when we work together . We have shown the world this can be achieved with persistence without aggression."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5mEBBbSY2g/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5mEBBbSY2g/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Peggyandmolly (@peggyandmolly)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Science finally proves "Money doesn't buy happiness"

<p>A new study has proven that the old adage "money can't buy you happiness" is true. </p> <p>Historically, economic wealth and higher income households are often seen to have an increased level of wellbeing and happiness, with the extra money making way for less stress and more general comfortability. </p> <p>However, researchers from Canada and Spain have concluded this may not be true, with such surveys often including responses from people in industrialised areas only. </p> <p>People in small-scale societies where money does not play a central role in every day life are often excluded from these studies, as the livelihood of residents in these small communities usually depend more on nature. </p> <p>Now, 2,966 people from Indigenous and local communities in 19 locations across the globe have been included in a study, with researchers now finding that societies of Indigenous people and those in small, local communities report living very satisfying lives despite not having a lot of money. </p> <p>The researchers wrote, "The striking aspect of our findings... is that reported life satisfaction in very low-income communities can meet and even exceed that reported at the highest average levels of material wealth provided by industrial ways of life."</p> <p>Researchers concluded the findings are strong evidence that economic growth is not needed to be happy, with only 64 percent of households included in the survey reported having any cash income.</p> <p>Eric Galbraith, lead author of the study, said, "Surprisingly, many populations with very low monetary incomes report very high average levels of life satisfaction, with scores similar to those in wealthy countries."</p> <p>Researchers added that high life satisfaction is shown in these communities "despite many of these societies having suffered histories of marginalisation and oppression."</p> <p>Galbraith added, "I would hope that, by learning more about what makes life satisfying in these diverse communities, it might help many others to lead more satisfying lives while addressing the sustainability crisis."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Top tips for happy and healthy eyes this Autumn

<p dir="ltr">As the season changes, so do our healthcare needs as many people struggle with irritating allergies. </p> <p dir="ltr">With cooler temperatures, dry air and an increase in pollen often being synonymous with autumn and spring, for many people, leaving the house means having irritated eyes. </p> <p dir="ltr">Luckily, leading Ophthalmologist, Dr. Jacqueline Beltz has shared her essential tips for eye care during autumn with OverSixty, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the change of seasons without jeopardising your vision. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>1. Keep your sunglasses handy</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While the sun is usually not as intense in autumn as it is during summer, Dr Beltz says that using sunglasses can benefit your eyes in many ways. </p> <p dir="ltr">“ Not only do they shield your eyes from harmful UV rays, but they also guard against wind and debris,” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. Increase your lubricant eye drops</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Dr Beltz said, “The drop in temperature and the dryer air can contribute to discomfort and dryness in your eyes, so consider increasing the use of lubricant eye drops to keep your eyes moist and comfortable.”</p> <p dir="ltr">By keeping up your eye drops in autumn, you can prevent further damage to your eyes in the long run. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. Clean your eyelashes daily</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">According to Dr Beltz, keeping up with good health and hygiene along the eyelid margins is essential, especially during the autumn months. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Cleanse your lashes daily and use a warm compress to optimise the quality of your tear film. This helps in preventing irritation and supports overall eye health.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. Consider a humidifier</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">To ensure a more comfortable environment for your eyes, Dr Beltz recommends adding moisture to the air can help alleviate dry eyes.</p> <p dir="ltr">She said, “Combat the dry indoor air by using a humidifier in your room, especially while you sleep.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. Be proactive with allergies</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">If you are prone to allergies, Dr Beltz said it's best to always be prepared ahead of time. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Autumn allergies are a reality, with triggers like pollen, mould, and dust prevalent during this season,” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“If you experience red, itchy, or swollen eyes, consider antihistamine eye drops. Keep your hands clean and avoid rubbing your eyes.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>6. Revitalise your eye makeup</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While replacing your eye makeup is important all year around, the addition of allergens makes it even more important to Change mascara and non-cleanable products like liquid eyeliner at least every three months. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Especially if you have sensitive eyes, makeup products can harbour bacteria, leading to increased eye irritation.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Refreshing your eye makeup products to options that are designed to be better suited for dry eyes or eye sensitivity.”</p> <p dir="ltr">If you are <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/beauty-style/embracing-the-art-of-beauty-without-compromise">prone to sensitive eyes</a>, consider trying the OKKIYO <a href="https://www.okkiyo.com/products/protect-and-preserve-mascara#xd_co_f=NzdiNzdlNTctNTA1MS00NTBkLWE1MGEtNjRkMGE2OTI1N2Vj~">Prioriteyes Mascara</a>, which was developed by Dr Beltz to prioritise both style and eye health.</p> <p dir="ltr">While these tips for eye health can seem simple and seemingly unimportant, Dr Beltz assures that by following these tips, you will make a world of difference for your eye health overall. </p> <p dir="ltr">She said, “Implementing these simple tips can make a significant difference in keeping your eyes comfortable and vibrant throughout the season.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Body

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15 hacks that make running errands so much better

<p><strong>Run errands during the week</strong></p> <p>More than 90 per cent of people do errands on the weekends, meaning shops will be packed and traffic will be a nightmare. Running errands on a weeknight will get you in and out in half the time. Once the kids are in bed, have one parent stay home while the other drives to the shops. You’ll miss the crowds and keep your weekend free for fun and family.</p> <p><strong>Turn on a podcast</strong></p> <p>Radio music – and its deejays and commercials – can get intense. Switch off the FM and plug in your phone so you can listen to a podcast or audiobook. You’ll be more relaxed, and the time will fly as you get engrossed in the story.</p> <p><strong>Make the most of your time</strong></p> <p>Never run out for just one task. Save time, petrol, and stress by getting more than one thing done when you’re out of the house. After dropping your child off at soccer practice, drop off your dry cleaning or pick up the milk from the supermarket.</p> <p><strong>Set up an errand centre in your home</strong></p> <p>Keeping all the objects you’ll need to complete your errands – packages to be mailed, dry cleaning to be delivered, library books to be returned – in one place will make it easy to get out the door when you get the chance. Designate a space by the door or in your car as a visual reminder of what needs to get done.</p> <p><strong>Buy in bulk</strong></p> <p>Picking up big batches of items like toilet paper, dog food, and tampons means fewer trips to the supermarket and less time running errands. Plus, you save money by buying bulk packages or stocking up while the items are on sale.</p> <p><strong>Use long lines for "me time"</strong></p> <p>Instead of griping about how long your wait to the cash register is, think of it as a few peaceful moments to yourself. Close your eyes (don’t be self-conscious!) and imagine yourself sitting on a quiet beach or getting a massage. Take several deep breaths while you mentally escape to that place. You’ll be much more relaxed, and you can wait in line with less frustration.</p> <p><strong>Practice mindfulness</strong></p> <p>Performing a ‘walking meditation’ while you shop will keep you engaged with your task instead of letting your mind wander to other stressors. By the end of your trip, you’ll have more energy and less frustration. Pay attention to the bright colours of the produce, the scents wafting from the bakery, and the feeling of each step you take.</p> <p><strong>Do someone else's errands</strong></p> <p>If you have an elderly neighbour or know a mother with young kids, offer to add some of their tasks to your to-do list. Studies have shown that helping others can reduce stress.</p> <p><strong>Tune out</strong></p> <p>Instead of drowning out your thoughts with music, keep the radio off when you’re driving and allow your own thoughts to come to you. The stimuli of everyday life can be overwhelming, so this is your chance to recharge your energy in the silence.</p> <p><strong>Keep a grocery list on your phone</strong></p> <p>You probably buy the same things on most of your grocery runs. Instead of writing a new list every week, keep an ongoing list on your phone, which makes it easy to add and remove items. Organise your list in the order you’ll find them at the supermarket. For instance, if you start near the produce section, write the fruits and vegetables first.</p> <p><strong>Reward yourself </strong></p> <p>To keep yourself motivated while you’re out, add a little luxury to your shopping list. Treat yourself with nice bath soap, a bouquet of flowers, or your favourite craft beer.</p> <p><strong>Keep an ongoing errands list</strong></p> <p>Write down your usual tasks, along with the ones you keep forgetting to do, like buying socks for your child or making a vet appointment for the dog, in a notepad. Carry it with you so you don’t miss anything when you’re out. When you’re home, stash it where the rest of your family can access it and jot down their needs.</p> <p><strong>Buy online as much as possible </strong></p> <p>The possibilities are endless: order groceries, buy stamps, cash checks, and renew library books online. Giving your credit card number over a secured server is safer than stating your number over the phone, and sometimes safer than handing your card over at a store.</p> <p><strong>Alternate tasks with your neighbours </strong></p> <p>Make a deal with your neighbours in which you do the grocery shopping one week, and they take care of it the next. You can watch each other’s kids when it’s your turn to stay home, and both of you will make fewer trips to the supermarket. Or plan to go grocery shopping with a friend. You’ll have more fun with the social support, and your kids might behave better with someone else present.</p> <p><strong>Have dad run errands with the kids</strong></p> <p>Kids who cook, clean, and run errands with their dads have more friends and are better behaved, according to a University of California study. Make sure your partner (or you, if you’re a dad) takes the kids along every now and then. As a bonus, wives of men who do chores with their kids find their husbands more attractive.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/15-hacks-that-make-running-errands-so-much-better?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Money & Banking

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“Home for Christmas”: Jimmy’s happy health update

<p>The holiday season has just become a little brighter for fans of legendary rock star Jimmy Barnes, as he's set to be home in time for Christmas following a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/our-jimmy-made-it-barnes-happy-message-from-the-icu" target="_blank" rel="noopener">successful open-heart surgery</a>. The news comes as a delightful update from his devoted wife, Jane Barnes, who shared a heartwarming photo of the smiling musician in the hospital, marking the positive progress in his recovery.</p> <p>"In the spirit of Christmas miracles, on the 6th Day of Christmas, my true love said to me… 'the doctor says I can go home on Friday,'" Jane joyfully captioned the photo. "Jimmy will be home for Christmas, and that's the best present I could ever wish for."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C1BxwC3BcUO/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C1BxwC3BcUO/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Jimmy Barnes (@jimmybarnesofficial)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The Cold Chisel frontman, aged 67, faced a major health setback when a bacterial infection, battled for two weeks, spread to his heart, leading to the need for open-heart surgery. Despite the challenges, Barnes maintains a positive outlook, labelling the experience as "hugely frustrating" but expressing gratitude that "I know a lot of people are battling even worse things".</p> <p>In a heartfelt statement, Barnes extended his appreciation to the hospital staff for their exceptional care during his recovery. Additionally, he paid a touching tribute to his wife, acknowledging her unwavering support. "As always, I'd be lost without her," he said of the importance of Jane's "around the clock love and care over the last few weeks".</p> <p>Jane, the devoted partner of Barnes for 42 years, has been a beacon of strength and a constant source of updates for concerned fans. Her regular posts from the hospital ward have painted a picture of Barnes' inspiring resilience and the love surrounding him during this challenging time.</p> <p>This isn't the first health hurdle Barnes has faced this year, having battled bacterial pneumonia in November, forcing him to cancel planned performances. The iconic musician's journey to recovery has been closely monitored by his family, with daughter Ella-May Barnes providing updates during last year's holiday period when Barnes underwent <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/jimmy-barnes-gets-candid-about-surgery" target="_blank" rel="noopener">emergency back and hip surgery</a>.</p> <p>Jimmy's fans far and wide have joined together in celebrating this Christmas miracle, sending warm wishes for a joyful and restful holiday season for the Barnes family.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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"Our Jimmy made it": Barnes' happy message from the ICU

<p>Iconic Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes has emerged victorious from a challenging battle with a bacterial infection that led him to undergo emergency open heart surgery. The Cold Chisel frontman, at 67 years young, faced a sudden health setback but is now on the road to recovery in the ICU.</p> <p>The journey began at the end of last month when Barnes was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/jimmy-barnes-hospitalised-with-major-health-issue" target="_blank" rel="noopener">hospitalised with pneumonia</a>. His wife, Jane, has now provided a heartening update on Instagram, sharing a photo from the hospital and revealing that the surgery was successful. Gratitude poured out to the dedicated medical team who played a crucial role in his recovery.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C0yULk4hvT6/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C0yULk4hvT6/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Jimmy Barnes (@jimmybarnesofficial)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"I’m happy to let you know that our Jimmy has made it through his surgery and is now recovering in the ICU," Jane wrote. "We are so grateful for the incredible medical team looking after him. Thank you for all the love and support."</p> <p>Earlier, Barnes bravely shared the news that the bacterial infection had <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/bad-news-jimmy-barnes-rushed-into-emergency-open-heart-surgery" target="_blank" rel="noopener">spread to his heart</a>. Despite this unexpected challenge, he faced the situation with courage and underwent open heart surgery to clear out the infection and replace a valve. The infection had affected a valve replaced years ago due to a congenital defect.</p> <p>Barnes, who was set to headline the Rock the Boat 2023 cruise festival before falling ill, reflected on his recent peak fitness just weeks prior. The sudden turn of events required adjustments to upcoming shows, causing some frustration for the singer. However, his son, David Campbell, reassured fans on the <em>Today</em> show, emphasising his father's frustration for the fans and passion for supporting the music industry.</p> <p>"He is in wonderful hands," Campbell said, expressing confidence in the medical team. Barnes' son also encouraged fans to reach out to him on social media, assuring everyone that the rock legend would make a great recovery.</p> <p>As the music community rallies around Barnes, sending waves of positivity and healing energy, we look forward to a speedy recovery and many more years of rock and roll from the indomitable Jimmy Barnes!</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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Happy birthday AUD: how our Australian dollar was floated, 40 years ago this week

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/selwyn-cornish-1297285">Selwyn Cornish</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/john-hawkins-746285">John Hawkins</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865"><em>University of Canberra</em></a></em></p> <p>These days, we take for granted that the value of the Australian dollar fluctuates against other currencies, changing thousands of times a day and at times jumping or falling quite a lot in the space of a week.</p> <p>But for most of Australia’s history, the value of the Australian dollar – and the earlier Australian pound – was “<a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/education/resources/explainers/exchange-rates-and-their-measurement.html#:%7E:text=exchange%20rate%20volatility.-,Pegged,or%20a%20basket%20of%20currencies.">pegged</a>” to either gold, pound sterling, the US dollar or to a value of a basket of currencies.</p> <p>The momentous decision to <a href="https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/the-long-road-that-led-to-the-floating-of-the-australian-dollar-20141121-11ra30">float</a> the dollar was taken on Friday December 9 1983 by the Hawke Labor Government, which was elected nine months earlier.</p> <p>As they approached the cabinet room at what is now Old Parliament House, Treasurer Paul Keating asked Reserve Bank Governor Bob Johnston to write him a letter to say the bank recommended floating.</p> <p>The letter, dated December 9, referred to the bank’s concern about the "volume of foreign exchange purchases and its belief that if these flows are to be brought under control we shall need to face up without delay either to less Reserve Bank participation in the exchange market or capital controls."</p> <p>By “less Reserve Bank participation”, Johnston meant a managed float; direct controls were to be considered “as a last resort”.</p> <p>The bank had long maintained a “<a href="https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/the-long-road-that-led-to-the-floating-of-the-australian-dollar-20141121-11ra30">war book</a>”, bearing the intriguing label “Secret Matter”, outlining the procedures to be followed in the event of a decision to float.</p> <p>An updated version was handed to the treasurer the day before the decision.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/articles/floating-exchange-rates-after-ten-years/">US</a> and the <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/23/newsid_2518000/2518927.stm">UK</a> floated their currencies in the early 1970s. Since the early 1980s the value of the dollar had been set via a “<a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2018/dec/understanding-exchange-rates-and-why-they-are-important.html">crawling peg</a>” – meaning its value was pegged to other currencies each week, and later each day, by a committee of officials who announced the values at <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/inside-the-floating-of-the-a-20131211-2z698.html">9.30 each morning</a>.</p> <p>If too much or too little money came into the country as a result of the rate the authorities had set, they adjusted it the next day, sometimes losing money to speculators who had bet they wouldn’t be able to hold the rate they had set.</p> <p>Keating had Johnston accompany him to the December 9 press conference instead of Treasury Secretary John Stone, who had argued against the float in the cabinet room, putting the case for direct controls on capital inflows instead.</p> <p>Johnston’s presence was meant to make clear that at least the central bank supported floating the dollar.</p> <h2>Speculators now speculate against themselves</h2> <p>Keating told the press conference the float meant the speculators would be “<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/from-the-archives-1983-the-australian-dollar-floats-free-20191206-p53hjq.html">speculating against themselves</a>”, rather than against the authorities.</p> <p>One banker quoted that night confessed to being “<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/from-the-archives-1983-the-australian-dollar-floats-free-20191206-p53hjq.html">absolutely staggered</a>”. “I’m not sure they know what they have done,” the banker said.</p> <p>The following Monday on ABC’s AM program, presenter <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2003-12-08/20-years-since-dollar-floated/102568">Red Harrison</a> heralded “a brave new world for the Australian dollar”. He said, "from today the dollar must take its chance, subject to the supply and demand of the international marketplace, and there are suggestions that foreign exchange dealers expect a nervous start to trading when the first quotes are posted this morning."</p> <p>At the time, the Australian dollar was worth 90 US cents. At first it <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/speeches/2013/sp-gov-211113.html">rose</a>, before settling back.</p> <p>Since then, the Australian dollar has fluctuated from a low of <a href="https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/australian-dollar-floated">47.75</a> US cents in April 2001 to a high of US$1.10 in July 2011.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="6ExL8" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/6ExL8/3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <h2>The long road to the float</h2> <p>The idea first took hold in Australia when Commonwealth Bank Governor <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2022/dec/hc-coombs-governor-of-australias-central-bank-1949-1968.html">“Nugget” Coombs</a> visited Canada in 1953, at a time when it was one of the few countries with a floating exchange rate.</p> <p>On his return, Coombs wrote the bank should consider Canada’s experience.</p> <p>A strong advocate from the mid-1960s was the bank’s economist <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1475-4932.1986.tb00915.x">Austin Holmes</a>. Among those he mentored at what by then was called the Reserve Bank were Bob Johnston, Don Sanders and John Phillips.</p> <p>All three were in the cabinet room when the decision was taken.</p> <h2>Backed by Cairns, opposed by Abbott</h2> <p>An unlikely advocate in the 1970s was the left-wing Labor treasurer <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-03/05Hawkins.pdf">Jim Cairns</a>.</p> <p>But asked in 1979 whether he was in favour of a float, the then Reserve Bank governor <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/about-rba/history/governors/sir-harold-murray-knight.html">Harry Knight</a> responded by quoting Saint Augustine, saying “God make me pure, but not yet”. An oil shock was making markets turbulent at the time.</p> <p>In 1981, the Campbell inquiry into the Australian financial system delivered a landmark report to Treasurer John Howard, <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/publication/p1981-afs">recommending</a> a float. The idea was backed by neither the Treasury nor Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.</p> <p>Two years later, Howard watched from opposition as Labor did what he could not.</p> <p>The Liberal Party generally backed Labor’s move, with one notable exception – the later prime minister, <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/tony-abbott-wrote-20-years-ago-floating-dollar-didnt-make-sense-20131206-2ywpm.html">Tony Abbott</a>, who in 1994 wrote that "changing the price of the dollar moment by moment in response to each transaction makes no more sense than altering the price of cornflakes every time a buyer takes a packet off the supermarket shelves."</p> <h2>A success by any measure</h2> <p>The floating exchange rate has served Australia well.</p> <p>When the Australian economy has slowed or contracted – in the early 1990s, the Asian financial crisis, the global financial crisis and in the COVID recession – the Australian dollar has fallen, making Australian exports cheaper in foreign markets.</p> <p>When mining booms have sucked money into the country, the Australian dollar has climbed, spreading the benefit and fighting inflation by increasing the buying power of Australian dollars.</p> <p>It’s why these days, hardly anyone wants to return to a <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/education/resources/explainers/exchange-rates-and-their-measurement.html">pegged</a> rate.<!-- 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/217548/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/selwyn-cornish-1297285">Selwyn Cornish</a>, Honorary Associate Professor, Research School of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/john-hawkins-746285">John Hawkins</a>, Senior Lecturer, Canberra School of Politics, Economics and Society, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/happy-birthday-aud-how-our-australian-dollar-was-floated-40-years-ago-this-week-217548">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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"Happy Birthday Roycie!": Rebel Wilson's big baby birthday bash

<p>In a world often filled with chaos, it's refreshing to hear about moments of pure joy and love. Rebel Wilson, the beloved<em> Pitch Perfect</em> star, recently shared one of those heartwarming moments with her fans as she celebrated her daughter Royce Lillian's first birthday. It was a lavish party that radiated love and happiness, leaving everyone with a warm feeling in their hearts.</p> <p>Rebel, at 43, has been a source of inspiration and laughter for many, but this time, she turned her focus towards her precious daughter. The actress shared adorable footage of Royce and the birthday celebrations on her Instagram Story, giving us a glimpse of the magical day she had prepared.</p> <p>The party was a sight to behold, with vibrant balloons decorating the venue and a mermaid-themed cake that would make any child's eyes light up with wonder. But that's not all; a cupcake tower was also part of the celebration, adding a touch of sweetness to the festivities. It was clear that Rebel had put her heart and soul into making this day special for her little girl.</p> <p>Rebel's Instagram post captured the essence of the day perfectly. In a touching picture, she held Royce in a chapel, presumably her christening, and wrote, "Happy 1st birthday baby." It was a heartfelt message that beautifully expressed the love and affection she felt for her daughter.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CzQyMTeLdwe/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CzQyMTeLdwe/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Rebel Wilson (@rebelwilson)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>And, of course, it wasn't just Rebel who was there to make the day magical. Her fiancée and clothing designer, Ramona Agruma, was by her side, capturing the moments with even more love. In her captions, Ramona used endearments like "my love" and "princess," showing her affection for Royce and the happiness she felt being part of this special day.</p> <p>We couldn't help but smile when watching the videos of the celebration. In one clip, Rebel and Ramona cried out "Happy Birthday, Roycie!" ... and the one-year-old responded with clapping hands, surrounded by pink balloons and presents. It was a moment of pure delight, capturing the innocence and joy of childhood.</p> <p>Although Wilson's work often keeps her in the United States, her heart remains in her native Australia. <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/domestic-travel/rebel-wilson-shows-off-the-inside-of-her-insane-bondi-beach-apartment" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Currently, she is in Sydney</a> directing her first movie, <em>The Deb</em>, and she made sure her family was with her during this exciting journey.</p> <p>In a world filled with uncertainty and challenges, Wilson surprised everyone last year by sharing the news that she had become a mom through a surrogate. She expressed her overwhelming pride and love for her daughter, describing her as a "beautiful miracle". She thanked everyone who had been a part of her journey and gave a special acknowledgment to her surrogate, who had carried and birthed Royce with grace and care.</p> <p>Rebel concluded by saying, "Thank you for helping me start my own family, it's an amazing gift. The BEST gift!! I am ready to give little Roycie all the love imaginable." And that love was evident in every moment of Royce's first birthday celebration.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Happy ending after company's awful retirement send-off

<p>An elderly gentleman in the United States, who had faithfully served as an "extremely dependable" employee for 42 years, recently experienced a remarkable change in his fortunes, thanks in large part to the generosity of individuals from Australia.</p> <p>John Bartlett, the dedicated worker in question, had received <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/retirement-life/you-deserve-more-company-slammed-over-measly-send-off-party" target="_blank" rel="noopener">underwhelming recognition from an unnamed company</a> for his decades of commitment. His daily 40-minute commute on public transportation to a job paying only the minimum wage went largely unnoticed until recently, causing widespread consternation.</p> <p>Sonia, one of his colleagues, was deeply moved by the perceived injustice and decided to share a video clip of Bartlett's story online. In her post, she expressed her wish that his hard work had been better acknowledged and thanked him for his unwavering loyalty. She noted that Bartlett loved his job so much that he was reluctant to retire, receiving nothing more than a barbecue and a certificate as a token of appreciation.</p> <p>After sharing Bartlett's story on social media, Sonia was inundated with messages from people eager to contribute to his well-deserved retirement. Responding to this outpouring of support, she set up a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/happy-retirement-john#xd_co_f=YjM1NWNiYzAtN2QwYS00MDc2LTgzZWEtNzRiYzE2ZjczZDU2~" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> campaign, inviting the public to contribute "a little something for a better retirement" for him.</p> <p>Within a matter of days, the fundraiser received an overwhelming response, with donations and messages pouring in from around the world, including numerous contributions from Australians. The campaign was eventually closed after more than 1,900 individuals contributed, resulting in a total of A$57,454 for Bartlett's retirement fund.</p> <p>In his 70s, Bartlett was left speechless when Sonia shared this incredible news with him. She conveyed the global impact of his story and the messages of support he had received from people across the globe. Overwhelmed by the gesture, Bartlett could only smile and nod in response.</p> <p>“They left messages for you," said Sonia in the video. "So I’m going to print it out and go ahead and make something nice for you so you can read it on your own time. We started the GoFundMe because they wanted to give you something for your retirement on their part and it just blew up overnight. You deserve it, OK? I’m going to make sure everything goes to your account, just for you.”</p> <p>Supporters encouraged Bartlett to use the funds for special treats, like a grand holiday or for spending time with loved ones. Messages from donors expressed their heartfelt wishes for his retirement and new beginnings.</p> <p>Sonia expressed her gratitude to the donors, assuring them that every cent raised would be placed directly into Bartlett's account. In her final update to the GoFundMe account, she thanked donors for their kindness and reaffirmed her commitment to ensuring Bartlett received every penny, attributing the success of the campaign to their collective efforts.</p> <p>In the end, the power of community and compassion won out, as people from all walks of life came together to make a meaningful difference in the life of an individual who had dedicated so much to his job.</p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Retirement Life

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The happiness diet: 7 foods to boost your mood

<p><strong>Mood boosting foods worth adding to your shopping trolley</strong></p> <p>For decades, our culture has focused on the connection between healthy eating and physiological wellness – most of all, related to weight. But out of a pandemic that made mental health a hot topic, you might also be gaining an awareness that the food you eat can seriously affect your mind.</p> <p>Research published in The British Medical Journal says diet plays a major role in how both our body and our brain are feeling. Poor nutrition can contribute to depression, anxiety, aggression (there’s a reason the word “hangry” exists!). But improving your diet, and knowing the right foods to eat, may help your mental health.</p> <p>Dietitian and certified intuitive eating counsellor Rachel Engelhart says certain foods can support your body’s processes that are responsible for positive moods and strong energy levels. Here’s Engelhart’s list of the greatest mood-boosting foods.</p> <p><strong>Fatty fish</strong></p> <p>Seafood like salmon, mackerel and canned tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are ‘healthy fats’ with benefits throughout your body – from your heart to your eyes – and your brain.</p> <p>“Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and have the ability to cross into the brain, having a direct effect on mood-regulating molecules and neurotransmitters there,” says registered dietitian Kelsey Lorencz. Research has consistently linked low levels of omega-3s with mood disorders like depression and anxiety – and, according to a review published in Frontiers in Physiology, most of us don’t get enough omega-3 fats in our diet.</p> <p><strong>Yoghurt</strong></p> <p>According to Lorencz, “The bacteria in your gut can actually produce feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.”</p> <p>Research has identified a particular bacterium that may have a strong impact on triggering these chemicals: a strain called Lactobacillus. One study published in the journal Nature found that feeding our gut with this good bacteria – found naturally in foods like yoghurt, kefir, and sauerkraut – doesn’t just keep the blues at bay, it can increase our resilience in the face of stress.</p> <p><strong>Bananas</strong></p> <p>Bananas aren’t just shaped like a smile – they’re a mood-boosting powerhouse. That’s in part because they’re also high in vitamin B6, one nutrient behind the production of the ‘happiness hormone’ serotonin. Bananas contain prebiotic fibre, which, along with that Lactobacillus, are essential for gut health that promotes a happy brain.</p> <p><strong>Cottage cheese</strong></p> <p>“The amino acid L-tyrosine is needed to make dopamine and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters that affect our mood and can easily become depleted,” Lorencz says. She points to high sources like soy products, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and bananas. But cottage cheese has a whopping amount of this amino acid, along with a few other mood-boosters in its arsenal. It’s high in protein, which is essential for our body to make and use its mood-promoting hormones, Engelhart says. (This protein is casein protein, which our body absorbs more slowly, sustaining energy levels, and may contribute to elevated moods, according to ongoing research.)</p> <p>Cottage cheese also contains selenium, a mineral that Nutrients research has suggested may be linked with lower rates of depression.</p> <p><strong>Nuts and seeds</strong></p> <p>Magnesium is a mineral that supports our body’s energy production – and not getting enough can lead to irritability, anxiety, sleeplessness and agitation, says Lorencz. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews and seeds like pumpkin, chia and sesame are great sources of this vital nutrient, as well as tryptophan, an amino acid associated with good moods.</p> <p>Nuts and seeds can also be great vegetarian sources of those crucial omega-3 fatty acids.</p> <p><strong>Oysters</strong></p> <p>The ages-old wives’ tale about oysters as aphrodisiacs is still out for debate, but oysters can elevate one’s mood. They pack the highest zinc content of any food – a nutrient that’s linked with anxiety and depression when we’re deficient, says Lorencz – and contain tyrosine, an amino acid that helps our body produce the ‘feel good’ hormone dopamine.</p> <p>That’s great news for the shellfish-loving set. However, if you aren’t a fan of oysters, you can get this one-two mood-boosting punch from food like eggs, nuts and legumes.</p> <p><strong>Your favourite treat</strong></p> <p>“Having a varied diet is the best way to set your body up to produce the ‘feel good’ hormones that it needs,” Engelhart says, adding an important point: while this nutritious balance is important, so is treating yourself to food you enjoy. “So many of my clients are hard on themselves and rather judgmental around their food choices, and it negatively impacts their mood,” she says. “Sprinkling our day with a delicious coffee, a yummy dessert, or one of our favourite restaurant meals is also an important way to positively impact our mental health.”</p> <p>And if you want to be strategic about that treat, reach for some dark chocolate. Chocolate contains natural serotonin, and 2022 research found that dark chocolate has prebiotic effects in our gut, supporting stronger mental health.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/mental-health/the-happiness-diet-7-foods-to-boost-your-mood" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

Food & Wine

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11 simple daily habits of couples in healthy relationships

<p><strong>The secrets of happy relationships </strong></p> <p>Do you expect your partner to take out the bins every week without ever being thanked? Can you recall the last time you paid your partner a compliment? Find out the secrets of people in a happy and healthy relationship.</p> <p><strong>They Netflix and chill together </strong></p> <p>There are many little ways to boost your marriage – and chief among them is simple companionship. Even if you’re couch surfing, do it together. Spending time with one another is one of the highlights of a healthy relationship. If he’s reading a book, grab one and cuddle up next to him. Bring him a drink while he’s mowing the lawn. Does washing the car bore you to tears? Then simply stand nearby and chat while he suds it up.</p> <p>“In the beginning, couples go out of their way to impress each other and create new ‘first memories’ together,” says Julie Spira, an online dating expert, CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and author of <em>The Perils of Cyber-Dating</em>. “After a while, just being together rises to the top of the relationship totem pole.” And there’s nothing wrong with a good binge-watch. One study found a direct link between media consumption while together and relationship satisfaction.</p> <p><strong>They compliment one another</strong></p> <p>Here’s how to have a healthy relationship: Tell him how hot he is. Or that he smells delicious. Give her rear a smack in those jeans you adore. Happy couples know how to give a sincere compliment in the moment. In fact, a study found that receiving a compliment has the same positive effect as receiving cash.</p> <p>“Compliments are the quickest way to put a smile on your partner’s face,” says Spira. “Find something appealing about the other and never forget what attracted you to him in the first place. If it’s her ability to fill in the Sunday crossword puzzle or his ability to take charge when you need it, let each other know.”</p> <p><strong>They say those three little words</strong></p> <p>If you’re looking to build a stronger relationship, you’re going to need to say “I love you.” Happy couples say it throughout the day – when they wake up, when they’re eating lunch, when they go to sleep. “Saying I love you to your partner, whether it’s first thing in the morning or at bedtime, is important,” says Bonnie Winston, a celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert.</p> <p>“And saying it with a shared kiss makes it extra special.” She says for variation to try other meaningful three-word phrases like “You amaze me,” “You enthrall me,” “I adore you,” or “You’re my everything.” They slip it into conversation whenever they can. Just be sure that you say these words genuinely. “Those three little words are great to say, as long as you say them with intent and not just purely out of habit,” says Alexis Meads, a professional dating coach.</p> <p><strong>They say thank you</strong></p> <p>One of the best ways to make your spouse feel loved is to show graciousness – even for something as seemingly trivial as picking up the kids from a playdate or grabbing a carton of milk at the supermarket. “Appreciation for all the good your partner contributes to your life is vital,” says Gilda Carle, PhD, relationship expert and author of <em>Ask for What You Want AND GET IT</em>. “Thank-yous go a long way to continuing wedded bliss.” In fact, a study in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased an athlete’s self-esteem, which is a component of an optimal performance.</p> <p>For the sake of your relationship, it’s important to express your appreciation for what your significant other does for you. “No one wants to feel taken for granted,” says Antonia Hall, MA, a psychologist and relationship expert. “By finding things each day for which you’re grateful and expressing it to your sweetie, you foster positive connectivity with him. It will make him feel appreciated and often sparks his desire to want to please you all the more.”</p> <p><strong>They show PDA</strong></p> <p>Public displays of affection aren’t just for teenagers. Happy couples aren’t afraid to show their affection for one in another – even in public. “Intimacy and touch keeps you connected with your partner,” says Hall. “It fosters a connectedness that supports a strong and happy relationship.” Don’t worry, you don’t need to have a full-on make-out session in front of your in-laws. But you can keep your love alive by holding hands at the mall or snuggling at the kids’ sports game. A little PDA goes a long way.</p> <p>“Just touching your partner will help you feel more connected, both physically, emotionally and intellectually,” says Spira. “Plus, it’s a great form of foreplay.” Not to mention that it shows that you’re vulnerable. “When vulnerability is shown and nurtured, then trust in your relationship has the ability to grow,” says Kristie Overstreet, a licensed professional clinical counsellor, certified sex therapist and author of <em>Fix Yourself First: 25 Tips to Stop Ruining Your Relationship</em>.</p> <p><strong>They check in with one another</strong></p> <p>You don’t have to speak on the phone or text 24/7, but couples in healthy relationships call or text – to show the dog’s latest mess, a funny street sign, or for no reason at all. “Checking in with one another boosts feelings of ardour and security,” Winston says. Dr Carle adds, “People who check in with one another during their busy days are letting their partner know they’re thinking of them, despite all the other things going on.”</p> <p><strong>They go to bed at the same time</strong></p> <p>“This doesn’t mean that you both have to fall asleep. But at least wind the night down and get into the bed at the same time,” says Overstreet. “This gives you the opportunity to close the day together, which is very important.” Research shows that 75 percent of couples don’t go to bed at the same time, usually because one person is surfing the web, working or watching TV.</p> <p>Happy couples do their best not to stay up late cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry while the other catches some shuteye. Save the chores for another time. “In my experience as a relationship therapist, couples that go to bed at the same time have a more trusting relationship than those who don’t,” says Overstreet. Bedtime is an opportunity to talk about the day ahead and maybe have a quickie before you hit the hay too.</p> <p><strong>They laugh together </strong></p> <p>Soccer is at 4pm; doctor’s appointment is at 5:30pm.; remember to pick up a pizza on the way home. It’s easy to get into the habit of talking only about the logistics of life and kids. Healthy couples make it a habit to laugh together – often. It keeps the joy and spirit alive in your relationship.</p> <p>A new paper from US professor Jeffrey Hall gives data-backed validity to something you may have figured for yourself: couples who laugh together, stay together. “Find a way to make each other laugh,” says Spira. “Whether it’s watching a funny television show together or doing some playful teasing, laughter and happiness go hand-in-hand.”</p> <p><strong>They share a hobby</strong></p> <p>Tennis anyone? How about writing music? Happy couples take up a hobby that they can do together. Even if they don’t have common interests, happy couples will develop them. Maybe they try new restaurants together or volunteer at the local soup kitchen side by side once a week. “By no means do you need to do everything together,” says Meads.</p> <p>“However, couples who stay together have fun doing some of the same things.” When couples see their relationship as full of fun, they’re more likely to be happier over the long term. “Adding your mutual hobby to your schedule gives you something to look forward to and a memory to look back upon,” says Spira. And living a stimulating life outside the bedroom will lead to a stimulating life inside it.</p> <p><strong>They ask for what they need</strong></p> <p>Happy couples ask for what they need and listen to each other’s requests. “Healthy relationships encourage people to be authentic in their feelings so they can genuinely express themselves,” says Dr Carle. You’re doomed if you just hope that your partner will be a mind reader and “just know” what you’re thinking.</p> <p>Happy couples openly talk about their needs and understand their differences. “When your significant other does something you like, tell him so,” says Winston. “This will give him a feeling of validation and he’ll continue to want to please you.”</p> <p><strong>They're a team </strong></p> <p>“With a team mentality, couples lift each other up and are stronger together,” says Hall. “They make sacrifices to benefit the long-term partnership.” They make decisions together – one person doesn’t call all the shots. It can be small issues like deciding what to watch on the TV to bigger issues like figuring out where you want to raise a family. “Knowing your partner has your back and vice versa is a great source of comfort in the game of love,” says Spira.</p> <p>You function as a unit and think in terms of “we” instead of “I.” Remember that you’re on the same team, says relationship expert Andrea Syrtash, author of<em> Cheat on Your Husband (with Your Husband)</em>. “It doesn’t make sense to have a winner and a loser in an argument,” Syrtash says. “You’re more likely to fight more fairly when you consider this.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/relationships/11-daily-habits-of-couples-in-healthy-relationships?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Relationships

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Gratitude amplified: Unlocking the key to happiness and deep connections

<p>In today's fast-paced world, filled with negative news, challenging experiences, and personal losses, finding joy and gratitude can often be a difficult task.</p> <p>As we naturally tend to focus on the negative aspects of life, it becomes essential to pause and cultivate gratitude, which can have a profound impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.</p> <p><strong>What is gratitude? </strong></p> <p>Gratitude involves showing appreciation for the things in life that are important to you, and taking a moment to notice and acknowledge these moments have proven benefits of lifting mood and helping you feel more positive throughout the day. Have you ever stopped to notice that there is something to be grateful for every day if we just take stock? It could be a person who kindly let you merge into traffic, a refreshing breeze on a scorching day, a beautiful rainbow after a heavy downpour, or a thoughtful call or text from a friend. </p> <p>Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. We also know that Gratitude begets gratitude, meaning that any kind act is likely to bring kindness back, in spades! </p> <p><strong>Practice Gratitude – Write down 3 things per day</strong></p> <p><a href="https://theresilienceproject.com.au/">The Resilience Project</a> changed my life by introducing a simple practice: at the end of each day, we take five minutes to write down three things we are grateful for that happened that day. It could be as simple as a walk in the sun, a phone call from a friend, a stroll with your dog, or even a comforting cup of tea. </p> <p>Engaging in this exercise helps you articulate your gratitude and realise the abundance of things to be grateful for in our everyday lives.</p> <p>I personally experienced the transformative power of gratitude during the two years of COVID lockdown in Victoria while working full-time and home schooling my two boys, aged 8 and 10. Our family embraced this practice each night, which not only changed our outlook on life but also sparked positive conversations during dinner.</p> <p>Surprisingly, it was often the simplest things we were all grateful for, like homemade meals or cherished moments of togetherness.</p> <p>I distinctly remember preparing a hot meal and passing it over our neighbour's fence when their family was unwell with COVID. To our surprise, a few weeks later, they reciprocated with a homecooked meal. In those challenging times, a sense of community became such a source of positivity, and we were immensely grateful for the love that went into that dinner.</p> <p>So why not take the time to stop and smell the roses and practice gratitude? Who knows, over time, you may start to notice your stress levels decreasing, your relationships improving, and be blessed with a strengthened sense of community.</p> <p><strong><em>Melissa Cutajar is <a href="https://www.connectedwomen.net/">Connected Women</a>’s Member Experience and Partnerships Manager. With a deep interest in health and wellness, Melissa is a source of positivity and creativity to the Connected Women team.</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em><a href="http://connectedwomen.net/">Connected Women</a> provides a community for women over 50 to connect with each other and build meaningful friendships. With a rapidly growing communities in Perth, Sydney, Wollongong, and Melbourne, Connected Women provides a safe and welcoming space for women to come together and share experiences. To learn more about the organisation and how you can get involved, visit connectedwomen.net.</em></strong></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Relationships

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Holidays you’d be happy to spend your life savings on

<p>There’s nothing better than an amazing travel adventure that makes you stop, look at the world around and you have life-altering “ah-ha” moments. These are the holidays that dreams are made of. You’ve worked hard your whole life – go on, you deserve it.</p> <p><strong>Swim with sea turtles in the Galapagos Islands</strong></p> <p>Step right into your own nature documentary with a visit to the home of Darwin’s evolution theory. Get up close to wildlife that simply doesn’t exist anywhere else- Blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises and marine iguanas to name just a few.</p> <p>You can choose to live on board a cruise, or join an island-hopping cruise where you sleep in small hotels and hostels on different islands.</p> <p>Swim or snorkel with sea turtles and sea lions, hike volcanic craters or just kick back and snap away on your camera.</p> <p>If you really want to push the boat out (pun intended!) you could add another adventure. Explore Ecuador, where cruises to the Galapagos Islands depart from, or hop over to Peru and see the Machu Picchu. If trekking isn’t your thing, take a guided tour where you stay in a lodge each night, or board the Orient Express at Cusco to tick off another bucket list item!</p> <p>For more information visit the Over60 Global Journeys South America section <a href="http://oversixty.globaljourneys.com.au/coach_tours/south_america/index.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>.</p> <p><strong>Expedition cruise to Antarctica</strong></p> <p>It might be the coldest, windiest, emptiest, driest continent on earth, but an expedition cruise to Antarctica is one of the hottest destinations for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.</p> <p>If spectacular iceberg formations and abundant wildlife such as whales, seals and penguins appeal to you, then this has to go on your bucket list.</p> <p>You can choose a cruise that retraces the footsteps of Scott and Shackleton, or one that offers activities for keen kayakers, photographers or wildlife enthusiasts.</p> <p>Most cruises depart from South America, so why not extend your holiday while you’re there and travel around South America too? We’re sold.</p> <p>For more information visit G Adventures <a href="http://www.gadventures.com.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>. </p> <p><strong>Track the ‘Big Five’ in Africa</strong></p> <p>Tanzania is well-established as one of the best wildlife-viewing destinations in the world, but when you head out on a private jeep safari at dawn from your luxury lodge, you’ll feel like there are just the incredible animals, and you.</p> <p>Tick off the big five: lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinos as you watch the sun come up over the Serengeti plain, one of the 10 natural travel wonders of the world.</p> <p>Include a stop-over at Kenya and visit a Masai village, or for the extremely adventurous, Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t far away. Finish your trip with some R&R time on Zanzibar, an island full of Arabian influence and stunning beaches just off the coast of Tanzania.</p> <p>For more information visit the Over60 Global Journeys Africa section <a href="http://oversixty.globaljourneys.com.au/coach_tours/africa/index.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>. </p> <p><strong>Grand Canyon and the Rockies</strong></p> <p>One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is North America’s must-see destination. Zoom over the parched red rock formations in a light aircraft or helicopter, or trek down to the bottom on horseback or on foot.</p> <p>Then fly to Colorado to start a tour of the incredible Rocky Mountains. Stay on a ranch in cowboy country and pretend you’re in a spaghetti western, spot bears, elk and bison in Yellowstone National Park and get a taste of what the pioneers first discovered when they started moving westwards. Keep heading north on one of the most spectacular journeys in the world through Glacier, Banff and Jasper National Parks, and finish your trip in stunning Vancouver.</p> <p>For more information visit the Over60 Global Journeys USA section <a href="http://oversixty.globaljourneys.com.au/coach_tours/usa/index.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>. </p> <p>Prices vary depending on the level of luxury and length of trip.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty / Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

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77-year-old woman takes a happy marriage into her own hands

<p>When it came time to walk down the aisle on her big day, Dorothy ‘Dottie’ Fideli had every box checked - except one. </p> <p>No partner stood waiting at the end to exchange vows with her, and that was just the way she wanted things. </p> <p>The 77 year old was, after all, marrying herself in an emotional ceremony at her O’Bannon Terrace Retirement Community, surrounded by her loved ones for her big day. </p> <p>Her reasoning was very simple, as she told <em>Today,</em> “I said, ‘you know what, I’ve done everything else. Why not? I’m going to marry myself’.”</p> <p>She wasn’t entirely alone at the altar, of course, needing someone there to oversee her all-important vows. And she had just the person in mind, turning to her home’s property manager, Rob Geiger, to do the honours. </p> <p>“I came in here and I told Rob,” she explained. “I said, ‘Rob, you’re going to marry me’.”</p> <p>He was surprised at first, but after Dottie explained what it was she was setting out to do, he was all too happy to step in and lend a hand.</p> <p>“She is a very incredible woman and she is full of life,” he said. “She has always thought of others.”</p> <p>Dottie’s daughter, Donna Pennington, was possibly her mum’s biggest fan, and eager to make her mum’s big solo dream come true.</p> <p>As Dottie explained, Donna had been right onboard from the very beginning, offering to get whatever was required, including Dottie’s dress. </p> <p>Donna even made sure that the wedding was properly catered and decorated, seeing to both aspects by herself, from doing all of the cooking to putting up a balloon arch in the home’s community room. </p> <p>As all good weddings should, Dottie had a cake - two-tired and covered with red roses - and heart-shaped cookies, as well as finger sandwiches shaped like wedding bells.</p> <p>When it came to the day itself, Dottie admitted to feeling nervous, but ultimately “really happy”.</p> <p>Initially, she’d intended for it to be something her nearest and dearest had come to expect from her in her quest to make sure everyone else was smiling - though things had taken an emotional turn as the significance of her message of self-love sunk in. </p> <p>As she explained it, “I do some crazy things around here just to make people laugh. When I see them all down in the dumps, I go get one of my outfits on and dress up and come down, and they smile.”</p> <p>It wasn’t Dottie’s first wedding, with her first occurring back in 1965, though the former hadn’t exactly been what she’d consider “formal”. </p> <p>She and her then-husband had exchanged their vows, before dashing off to home and work respectively. Dottie even noted that they’d been “doomed” from the start, as she’d opted to wear a black dress that day. </p> <p>She’d gone on believing that it was too late for her to experience her big dream wedding, until her daughter proved her wrong, to Dottie’s eternal gratitude.</p> <p>And now, Dottie plans on continuing on her journey of self-love, telling <em>Today</em>, “I’m at the point in my life where it’s about me now.</p> <p>“My kids are all good, and my grandkids, one of them’s going to have a baby … and I have a set of triplets that have all graduated from college. </p> <p>“So, it’s my turn to do what I want to do.”</p> <p><em>Images: Today</em></p>

Relationships

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John Farnham’s happy health update

<p dir="ltr">John Farnham’s family have shared a positive health update following the singer’s <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/cruel-and-brutal-john-farnham-s-sons-provide-health-update" target="_blank" rel="noopener">re-hospitalisation</a> in late March.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a statement released on Monday, Farnham’s family shared that he has made a “full recovery” from the serious chest infection.</p> <p dir="ltr">"We're pleased to say that John made a full recovery from a recent chest infection in late March which required hospitalisation," his wife Jill, and sons Robert and James shared.</p> <p dir="ltr">"He is now comfortable and continues to receive ongoing treatment and rehabilitation care.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The family would like to re-iterate their appreciation and deepest respect for all the medical staff that have attended to John over the past eight months and the many thousands of kind messages that (have) been received from across Australia and the world."</p> <p dir="ltr">When the 73-year-old was taken to hospital in March, he had just undergone a gruelling 12-hour surgery to remove a cancerous growth in his mouth seven months prior.</p> <p dir="ltr">His family have consistently shared <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/cruel-and-brutal-john-farnham-s-sons-provide-health-update" target="_blank" rel="noopener">updates </a>on his health and how proud they are of Farnham’s resilience and strength.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images/Brendon Thorne / Stringer</em></p>

Caring

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Secret to couple’s 60-year marriage

<p>Geoff Yeend's aim was to marry a girl whose family had a television set. He wanted to watch the Queen's coronation but says he "slipped up". His now wife Maureen's parents never had a TV.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Maureen has four brothers and has always said Geoff married her for her brothers because he was an only child.</p> <p>Geoff lived one side of the railway tracks while Maureen lived on the "good side". The couple grew up within five kilometres of each other on the outskirts of London but didn't meet until at a dance when Geoff was 20 and Maureen 16.</p> <p>Maureen turned up to the dance with one of her brothers. Maureen says the next morning she and her brother were talking, calling between bedrooms. "He said Geoff had said 'bring your sister next week'. I said 'well, who's Geoff?' and he said 'oh, the little fella'.</p> <p>The Matamata couple met in 1953 and were married on October 22, 1955.</p> <p>While the early days were challenging, raising two children and emigrating to New Zealand in 1973 and then to North Hollywood in 1978, the couple have had many happy years together.</p> <p><img width="238" height="286" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/16761/geoff-and-maureen-yeend-body.jpg" alt="Geoff And Maureen Yeend Body"/></p> <p>They've been on a sheep farm, Geoff has worked as a newspaper printer and the pair were in the movie advertising industry in America in the 70s and 80s.</p> <p>They returned to New Zealand in 1989 and bought the Daltons farm in Matamata. They sold this in 2009 before buying a section in town.</p> <p>Geoff and Maureen celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a week spent on Norfolk Island. "We're still stopped together," Maureen says.</p> <p>The couple have a passion for travelling and have visited a number of exotic places around the world, although Maureen isn't able to travel much these days. Geoff still gets out and about including a recent trip to South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.</p> <p>And do the couple have any advice for a long and happy marriage? "I always say give and take. I give and Maureen takes," Geoff jokes.</p> <p>But in all honesty, they say a married couple needs to live within their means, be realistic and learn to do things together.</p> <p><em>Written by Teresa Hattan. First appeared on </em><a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span><span style="text-decoration: underline;">.</span></strong></em></a> </p> <p>Looking for love – or perhaps you just want to meet some new people? <strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://ad.doubleclick.net/ddm/clk/301420739;128433504;u%20" target="_blank">Why not sign up at RSVP today by clicking here… You never know who is just around the corner.</a></span></em></strong></p> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="http://www.oversixty.co.nz/lifestyle/relationships/2016/01/how-to-make-love-last/">The secret to make love last</a></strong></em></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="http://www.oversixty.co.nz/lifestyle/relationships/2016/01/science-behind-couples-who-die-together/">There’s a science behind couple that die close together</a></strong></em></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="http://www.oversixty.co.nz/lifestyle/relationships/2015/12/soulpancake-what-is-love-video/">People aged 0 to 100 define what is love</a></strong></em></span></p>

Relationships

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4 tips to ensure a happy and healthy retirement

<p>It’s the “R” word everyone is talking about. Retirement. And we want you to do it the right way! We’ve got wonderful visions of holidays, sleep-ins and taking time to indulge in whatever takes your fancy. Here’s your survival guide for a healthy, happy retirement.</p> <p><strong>1. Active living</strong></p> <p>Regular physical activity brings not just health benefits for your body, but for your mental stability, daily functional abilities and social skills too. Regular physical movement can be a simple treatment for depression, as it enhances your mood and creates positive energy. It also reduces your chances of getting heart disease, certain cancers plus it helps reduce the effects of osteoarthritis. Being active means better balance, agility and strength, and are less prone to falling.</p> <p><strong>2. Healthy eating</strong></p> <p>Healthy eating is a key strategy for healthy ageing. It is also an important factor in handling stressful times in our lives, such as the transition to retirement. Don’t waste time eating fast food, healthy eating is key to more energy and overall better quality of life. Cooking brings with it great satisfaction, so get out your cookbooks and get ready to get your hands, pots and plates dirty. Challenging your brain to try out a new recipe will keep you busy and others fed.</p> <p><strong>3. Social networking</strong></p> <p>Having a strong group of contacts is important when retiring. Be sure not to isolate yourself but instead embrace life and other people that are in it. Your social community may include all kinds of contacts, such as family members, neighbours, friends, colleagues from work, club members, and even religious community members. Boost your networks by joining the gym, volunteering at an animal shelter or helping out at local community events be it with schools or charity fundraisers.</p> <p><strong>4. Wishful thinking</strong></p> <p>Positive thinking and practical methods are key: When you envision yourself achieving your life dreams and set realistic goals the chances of success are high. Imagining a good outcome minimises stress, anxiety, can lower your blood pressure and put you in a good mood.</p> <ul> <li>Formulate dreams you’re truly passionate about</li> <li>Visualise the best possible outcome</li> <li>Tackle the obstacle step by identifying what’s holding you back</li> <li>Make it happen by actively planning what you’re going to do and how you will manage it appropriately, ie: money budgeting, getting out more, trying new things</li> </ul> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Retirement Life

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“100 is just a number”: Centenarian’s sweet solution for a long and happy life

<p>When Shirley Goodman reached the milestone age of 100 years old, the last thing on her mind was slowing down. </p> <p>And the centenarian, who lives in Florida, has shared her advice for living a long and happy life - though what she had to say has taken many by surprise.</p> <p>Rather than stressing the importance of getting enough rest and following a strict diet, as we so often hear, Shirley believes her passion for having fun, doing what she enjoys, and eating her share of well-deserved treats to be the secret of her success. </p> <p>As Shirley told <em>Today</em>, “I feel great. 100 is just a number to me.”</p> <p>This is despite the two open-heart surgeries she has undergone - including a bypass, and the installation of a pacemaker and a stent. Shirley also experiences difficulties with her vision and her hearing, but nothing will keep her from embracing life and doing what she loves: dancing.</p> <p>“My legs are still working,” she said. “I’m an optimist. I try to do positive thinking all the time. That’s very important. I have a bracelet that says ‘Positivity’ on it. </p> <p>“I wear it every day and I try to stay positive.”</p> <p>She started dancing when she was just eight years old, even opening up her own dance school at 17. And while she did close down her business after marrying, she never gave it up, following her heart - and her dancing feet - in her free time instead. </p> <p>And in recent years, Shirley has taken that same passion to a whole new realm, establishing herself on the internet as ‘The Dancing Nana’. On Instagram, her family regularly share clips of Shirley dancing, and even participating in some viral internet trends, from doing ‘the floss dance’ to ‘the Tush Push’. </p> <p>It was the latter that propelled her to viral heights in 2019, when a clip surfaced of a then-96-year-old Shirley enjoying herself at her nephew’s wedding reception, outshining the younger guests on the dance floor with her spectacular footwork and twirls. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BwLLINgB2uX/?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/BwLLINgB2uX/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by The Dancing Nana (@the.dancing.nana)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“I would advise people,” she told <em>Today</em>, “if they like music at all, to keep it in their lives and don’t just sit home in a rocking chair.”</p> <p>“I attribute [my long life] mostly to two things. One is my family,” she later added, “I have a wonderful, devoted family. </p> <p>“And the jazz, the music down here in Sarasota, and my tap dancing. That’s what keeps me going.”</p> <p>And while Shirley has dabbled in other pursuits, dancing still holds the key to her heart, as nothing else quite took with her, with the 100-year-old confessing that she “wasn’t crazy” about golf, and played tennis until she was 90. </p> <p>“I only walk as far as my mailbox,” she added, “which is about five minutes.” </p> <p>She does, however, enjoy her share of yoga. Every morning, she FaceTimes her daughter for a session, and the two spend some mindful time together from their respective homes in Florida and New York.</p> <p>Another thing Shirley very much enjoys is a sweet treat. And as some longevity experts admitted to <em>Today</em>, many who reach impressive ages like Shirley don’t often focus on their recommended share of vitamins and other ‘healthy’ snacks.</p> <p>“I don’t eat healthy food,” Shirley admitted. “My kids would holler at me … but when I hit 90, they stopped bothering me.”</p> <p>As Shirley’s 71-year-old daughter Joan added, they all just assumed Shirley was going to outlive them, but that “you would not want to write a cookbook based on her nutritional recommendations. I think the secret is to enjoy what you’re eating.”</p> <p>Top of Shirley’s most loved menu is “anything that’s cooked in batter”, or some chocolate and other sweets of the like. She enjoys a piece of chocolate after each of her meals, and views breakfast as the perfect opportunity for a chocolate chip cookie - however, you won’t catch her nibbling on any dark varieties, as milk chocolate with some nuts is what she prefers to reach for. </p> <p>And when it comes to home cooked meals with some vegetables, Shirley isn’t a fan. </p> <p>“I say ‘cook’ is a four letter word, so I don’t cook very much,” said. “I eat very small portions, but I eat everything and anything I like.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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Is the secret to a happy relationship knowing when to shut up?

<p>Conventional relationship wisdom says to speak your mind, and not to bottle anything up. That usually translates to talking (or shouting) it out with your spouse ‘til the wee hours of the night until the problem is solved or you both agree to disagree.</p> <p>But keeping silent may be the secret to a long-lasting relationship new research has revealed.</p> <p>A study in the Journal of Marriage and Family observed the interactions of 127 middle-aged and older couple, finding the longer couples had been together, the less willing they were to risk getting into heated arguments over petty matters. Instead, years of experience guided them to adopt “peacekeeping” strategies before arguments eventuated. This included changing the subject or “shutting up” when partners were angry or upset.</p> <p>This passive behaviour is traditionally believed to be damaging to relationships but psychologists are increasingly seeing it as the key to success for many unions. For older couples particularly who’ve had decades to air grievances such avoidance techniques were a successful way of keeping the peace.</p> <p>Researchers studied the 127 couples over a 13-year period by analysing recordings of couple’s discussions on sensitive topics such as the housework and finances. They were particularly interested in forms of communication known as “demand-withdraw pattern,” where one person makes demands and in response the other chooses to withdraw from the interaction. This form of communication typically leads to a complete withdrawal or further escalation of the fight, however, researchers noticed that the older the couple, both would successfully adopt these avoidance tactics.</p> <p>“It may be that both age and marital duration play a role in increased avoidance,” said the study’s lead author Dr Sarah Holley from San Francisco State University.</p> <p>Dr Holley explained that the older people were and the longer they had been married, the less importance they placed on “being right” (or arguing that they were right) and sought positive experiences instead. But it’s not to say the stereotype of “nagging wife, silent husband” is correct as researchers noted both men and women used these withdrawal tactics and similar patterns were found in a previous study between same-sex couples.</p> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><em><strong><a href="../lifestyle/dating/2015/01/garden-saved-marriage/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Read one man’s story of how his garden saved his marriage</span></a></strong></em></p> <p><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="../lifestyle/dating/2014/08/whats-love-got-to-do-with-it/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Love can mean different things to different people</a></span></strong></em></p> <p><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="../lifestyle/dating/2014/08/budget-friendly-date-ideas/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Budget-friendly date ideas</a></span></strong></em></p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Relationships

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Happy songs: these are the musical elements that make us feel good

<p>Music has a unique power <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Daniel-Vaestfjaell/publication/258173113_Emotion_Induction_through_Music_A_Review_of_the_Musical_Mood_Induction_Procedure/links/02e7e527c81174366e000000/Emotion-Induction-through-Music-A-Review-of-the-Musical-Mood-Induction-Procedure.pdf">to affect the way people feel</a> and many people use music to enhance or change their mood, channel emotions and for psychological support. </p> <p>The strong emotional impact of music is derived from its profound physical and psychological effects. For example, listening to relaxing music often has a positive impact on the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1959222/">autonomic nervous system</a> (which regulates many key bodily functions), by slowing breathing, regulating heart rate, lowering blood pressure and reducing muscle tension.</p> <p>Listening to music also affects us at a deep physiological level, as it has a strong impact on the <a href="http://www.downloads.imune.net/medicalbooks/Neurochemistry%20of%20music.pdf">endocrine system</a>, which is responsible for hormone production. </p> <p>Music can stimulate the release of the neurotransmitters which affect experiences of pleasure by increasing the production of dopamine (the reward hormone), reducing levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and increasing salivary immunoglobulin A – an antibody responsible for strengthening the immune system.</p> <p>Of course, these benefits are only experienced if we listen to music that we enjoy. <a href="http://www.brainvitge.org/papers/Science-2013-Salimpoor-216-9.pdf">Familiarity</a> also affects enjoyment, but even new music can stimulate positive physical and psychological responses if it is similar to other music that we like.</p> <p>Music we don’t like can have a strong adverse effect upon mood and wellbeing. Individual differences mean emotional <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0305735618754688?journalCode=poma">reactions to songs differ</a> depending on the participant’s preferences and associations they might have with the music. If we don’t like the song (or it brings back negative memories), it won’t make us happy, regardless of the quality.</p> <h2>Creating a personal soundscape</h2> <p>Portable listening devices and music streaming platforms have made it possible to choose from an unprecedented selection of musical styles. People can now listen to their favourite music any time, anywhere. </p> <p>This means music can be used to create a personal soundscape. This is common when using public transport, for example, as many passengers use headphones to create an individualised sonic environment as a distraction from the less pleasant aspects of travelling on crowded and noisy transport systems.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.prnewsblog.com/news/health-wellbeing/15034/music-psychologist-reveals-the-formula-for-the-happiest-song-ever/">recent survey</a>, 71% of 2,000 participants reported that music was the strongest influence on their mood and almost 75% regularly listened to music to cheer themselves up. In response to these findings, I conducted a review of published research, to find out which musical features tend to be present in “happy” songs.</p> <p>It should be remembered that musical preferences and expectations are culture dependent. For example, some Asian cultures have different associations between positive/negative emotions and major/minor chords, so <a href="https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.170952">western “happy songs” may not be globally interpreted as such.</a></p> <p>Within western cultures, there are certain components of popular music which are commonly linked with positive emotions. Music that is perceived as “happy” is usually written in a major key with a bright tone, featuring instruments with a bright timbre, such as trumpets or electric guitars.</p> <p>“Happy” music usually adds <a href="https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.170952">the seventh note of the scale</a> to the main three notes in the chord. This creates a brief feeling of tension – or pleasurable expectation – followed by relief or resolution when the harmonic progression proceeds as our previous listening experience predicts.</p> <p>For many people, listening to music becomes an immersive <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00906/full">flow experience</a> which can distract from everyday concerns. Active musical participation through dancing or singing along brings additional enjoyment. </p> <p>A simple, consistent rhythm based on two or four beats in a bar increases a song’s “<a href="https://mashable.com/ad/feature/science-of-pop-music">danceability</a>”, while a binary structure – verse-chorus-verse-chorus – helps to establish familiarity so the song quickly becomes “<a href="https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/features/pop-science/">sing-alongable</a>”.</p> <p>People generally <a href="https://mashable.com/ad/feature/science-of-pop-music">prefer familiar music</a>, or music which quickly becomes memorable. The most enjoyable songs are likely to be those which strike a satisfying <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982219312588">balance between predictability and surprise</a>, providing an experience familiar enough to be pleasurable while avoiding being too simplistic or formulaic.</p> <p>Unexpected changes can intensify emotional responses. Listeners often derive the most pleasure from music when they are fairly sure about what will happen next but then an unexpected chord progression or key change provides a surprise.</p> <p>Based on previous experiences, listeners develop expectations about a piece of music. While familiar music tends to give the most pleasure, it also needs to contain enough “surprise” elements to retain enough interest to create a state of flow. This explains the use of a bridge or the middle eight (a section which is different from the verse and chorus) in many songs.</p> <p>Although “happy songs” are usually written in a <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301724912_Beyond_Happiness_and_Sadness_Affective_Associations_of_Lyrics_with_Modality_and_Dynamics">major key</a>, they sometimes include a section in a minor key to add interest. </p> <p>Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys begins with a verse in a minor key and then creates a strong emotional uplift as it switches into a bright major key for the chorus.</p> <h2>The speed of happiness</h2> <p>Faster music tends to induce more positive emotions than slower music. Research suggests that music that is perceived as happy is usually performed at a tempo between <a href="https://mymodernmet.com/10-happy-songs/">140 and 150 beats per minute (BPM)</a>. Songs people have said they use to <a href="https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7k00dawKjXgBBuq2nZyHmO">improve their mood</a> include Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now at 156 BPM.</p> <p>Tempo is a confounding variable because <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0305735618754688?journalCode=poma">faster music increases arousal/excitement</a>, but this may not always be associated with happiness. There may also be <a href="https://www.anderson.ucla.edu/documents/areas/fac/marketing/mogilner/Mogilner_Shifting_Meaning_of_Happiness_SPPS_2011.pdf">age-related differences</a> in interpretation. </p> <p>What is certain is that music can have a profound effect on our sense of wellbeing. Just stick on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTdihu-mp90">James Brown’s I Got You</a> (or whatever might tempt you to do a happy dance) and start to feel good.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/happy-songs-these-are-the-musical-elements-that-make-us-feel-good-201342" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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