Placeholder Content Image

We know what to eat to stay healthy. So why is it so hard to make the right choices?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nina-van-dyke-822557">Nina Van Dyke</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/victoria-university-1175">Victoria University</a></em></p> <p>A healthy diet <a href="https://www.who.int/initiatives/behealthy/healthy-diet">protects us</a> against a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.</p> <p>From early childhood, we receive an abundance of <a href="https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/healthy-diet/healthy-diet-fact-sheet-394.pdf?sfvrsn=69f1f9a1_2&download=true">information</a> about how we <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating">should eat</a> to be healthy and reduce our risk of disease. And most people have a <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186/1479-5868-11-63.pdf">broad understanding</a> of what healthy eating looks like.</p> <p>But this knowledge <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001209216310584?casa_token=6CZgCmT1RMgAAAAA:sSRsj2o6swVfvoBxMIVrMTxqdczSAiFwfTCYzYQ8U3z4ey_WLQ6knpmk8WRH77zugAS3wEAQrA">doesn’t always result</a> in healthier eating.</p> <p>In our new research, we set out to <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186/s12889-024-18432-x.pdf">learn more</a> about why people eat the way they do – and what prevents them from eating better. Lack of time was a major <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/obr.12472?casa_token=1D1mi-l0TR0AAAAA:dgebTQx-wgw7jbREfdawxZ5AZSDRztvrt8t1tuKyDy1x2mmXlyLDY8z9NbUf0v4hnh80HY_RbAk08Q">barrier</a> to cooking and eating healthier foods.</p> <h2>How do you decide what to eat?</h2> <p>We spoke with <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186/s12889-024-18432-x.pdf">17 adults</a> in a regional centre of Victoria. We chose a regional location because less research <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186/s40900-020-0179-6.pdf">has been done</a> with people living outside of metropolitan areas and because rates of obesity and other diet-related health issues are <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/rural-remote-australians/rural-and-remote-health">higher</a> in such areas in Australia.</p> <p>Participants included a mix of people, including some who said they were over their “most healthy weight” and some who had previously dieted to lose weight. But all participants were either:</p> <ul> <li>young women aged 18–24 with no children</li> <li>women aged 35–45 with primary school aged children</li> <li>men aged 35–50 living with a partner and with pre- or primary-school aged children.</li> </ul> <p>We selected these groups to target <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022318212803669">ages and life-stages</a> in which shifts in eating behaviours may occur. Previous research has found younger women <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1470-6431.2007.00642.x?casa_token=33QKWwhc2ogAAAAA:ZvJ6wfXiRC_6eoqvoxD121JOSKSPmIRHcrdiGl2uHzkq5pY6VVPL6WI2DhmxQ2q9i6bBGvLiFl8afQ">tend to</a> be particularly concerned about appearance rather than healthy eating, while women with children often shift their focus to providing for their family. Men <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/obr.12472?casa_token=KakMB6hAOQ0AAAAA:fLnpoxZQiiJIdEkg_TOcCq8hBwZef1iZETZKTiG5W6zW2x_PYzK0oLeOg5F9arKThq9RzMWEi4x4Xw">tend to be less interested</a> in what they eat.</p> <p>We asked participants about how they decided what food to eat, when, and how much, and what prevented them from making healthier choices.</p> <h2>It’s not just about taste and healthiness</h2> <p>We found that, although such decisions were determined in part by taste preferences and health considerations, they were heavily influenced by a host of other factors, many of which are outside the person’s control. These included other household members’ food preferences, family activities, workplace and time constraints, convenience and price.</p> <p><a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2767106">Healthy eating</a> means consuming a balanced diet rich in nutrients, including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats, while limiting processed foods, added sugars and excessive salt. Healthy eating also includes how we eat and <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244292">how we think about</a> food and eating, such as having a positive relationship with food.</p> <p>One 35- to 45-year-old woman, for example, said that time constraints and family preferences made it difficult to prepare healthier food:</p> <blockquote> <p>I love the chance when I can actually get a recipe and get all of the ingredients and make it properly, but that doesn’t happen very often. It’s usually what’s there and what’s quick. And what everyone will eat.</p> </blockquote> <p>One of the 35- to 50-year-old men also noted the extent to which family activities and children’s food preferences dictated meal choices:</p> <blockquote> <p>Well, we have our set days where, like Wednesday nights, we have to have mackie cheese and nuggets, because that’s what the boys want after their swimming lesson.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/joss.12649?casa_token=gsnU9O_G2GQAAAAA:mV2vtHlnEd0jqBGJPFkfml_ecLIDqwSlH5xksSwt4eQb_FP_UShyAKm9sLNnKy6Mkf2q9aKAlDEixA">Research shows</a> that children are often more receptive to new foods than their parents think. However, introducing new dishes takes additional time and planning.</p> <p>An 18- to 24-year-old woman discussed the role of time constraints, her partner’s activities, and price in influencing what and when she eats:</p> <blockquote> <p>My partner plays pool on a Monday and Wednesday night, so we always have tea a lot earlier then and cook the simple things that don’t take as long, so he can have dinner before he goes rather than buying pub meals which cost more money.</p> </blockquote> <p>Despite popular perceptions, healthy diets are not more expensive than unhealthy diets. A <a href="https://preventioncentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/1702_FB_LEE_4p_final_lr.pdf">study</a> comparing current (unhealthy) diets with what the <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/the-australian-dietary-guidelines">Australian Dietary Guidelines</a> recommend people should eat found that the healthy diet was 12–15% cheaper than unhealthy diets for a family of two adults and two children.</p> <p>However, learning and planning to prepare new types of meals <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/3/877">takes effort and time</a>.</p> <p>Simply educating people about what they should eat won’t necessarily result in healthier eating. People want to eat healthier, or at least know they should eat healthier, but other things <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00394-017-1458-3.pdf">get in the way</a>.</p> <p>A key to improving people’s eating behaviours is to make it easy to eat more healthily.</p> <p>Policy changes to make healthy eating easier could include subsidising healthier foods such as fresh produce, providing incentives for retailers to offer healthy options, and ensuring access to nutritious meals in schools and workplaces.</p> <h2>So how can you make healthier food choices easier?</h2> <p>Here are five tips for making healthy choices easier in your household:</p> <ol> <li> <p>If certain days of the week are particularly busy, with little time to prepare fresh food, plan to cook in bulk on days when you have more time. Store the extra food in the fridge or freezer for quick preparation.</p> </li> <li> <p>If you’re often pressed for time during the day and just grab whatever food is handy, have healthy snacks readily available and accessible. This could mean a fruit bowl in the middle of the kitchen counter, or wholegrain crackers and unsalted nuts within easy reach.</p> </li> <li> <p>Discuss food preferences with your family and come up with some healthy meals everyone likes. For younger children, <a href="https://healthykids.nsw.gov.au/downloads/file/campaignsprograms/NewFoodsFussyEaters.pdf">try serving</a> only a small amount of the new food, and serve new foods alongside foods they already like eating and are familiar with.</p> </li> <li> <p>If you rely a lot on take-away meals or meal delivery services, try making a list ahead of time of restaurants and meals you like that are also healthier. You might consider choosing lean meat, chicken, or fish that has been grilled, baked or poached (rather than fried), and looking for meals with plenty of vegetables or salad.</p> </li> <li> <p>Remember, fruit and vegetables taste better and are often cheaper when they are in season. Frozen or canned vegetables are a <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/the-cost-of-fresh-fruit-and-veggies-is-rising-is-canned-or-frozen-produce-just-as-healthy/tzuhnfrnr">healthy and quick alternative</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/231489/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> </li> </ol> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nina-van-dyke-822557">Nina Van Dyke</a>, Associate Professor and Associate Director, Mitchell Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/victoria-university-1175">Victoria University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-know-what-to-eat-to-stay-healthy-so-why-is-it-so-hard-to-make-the-right-choices-231489">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

Still fab after 60 years: how The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night made pop cinema history

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-blair-223267">Alison Blair</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-otago-1304">University of Otago</a></em></p> <p>I first saw A Hard Day’s Night at a film festival over 20 years ago, at the insistence of my mum. By then, it was already decades old, but I remember being enthralled by its high-spirited energy.</p> <p>A Beatles fan, mum had introduced me to the band’s records in my childhood. At home, we listened to Please Please Me, the band’s 1963 single, and the Rubber Soul album from 1965, which I loved.</p> <p>Television regularly showed old black-and-white scenes of Beatlemania that, to a ten-year-old in the neon-lit 1980s, seemed like ancient history. But then, I’d never seen a full-length Beatles film. I had no idea what I was in for.</p> <p>When the lights went down at Dunedin’s Regent Theatre, the opening chord of the film’s title song announced its intentions: an explosion of youthful vitality, rhythmic visuals, comical high jinks and the electrifying thrill of Beatlemania in 1964.</p> <p>This time, it didn’t seem ancient at all.</p> <p>Since that first viewing, I’ve returned to A Hard Day’s Night again and again. I now show it to my students as a historically significant example of pop music film making – visually inventive cinema, emblematic of a fresh era in youth culture, popular music and fandom.</p> <h2>Beatlemania on celluloid</h2> <p>A musical comedy depicting a chaotic 36 hours in the life of the Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night has now reached its 60th anniversary.</p> <p>Directed by <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0504513/">Richard Lester</a>, the film premiered in London on July 6 1964, with its first public screening a day later (incidentally, also Ringo Starr’s birthday), and the <a href="https://www.discogs.com/master/24003-The-Beatles-A-Hard-Days-Night">album of the same name</a> released on July 10.</p> <p>The band’s popularity was by then reaching dizzying heights of hysteria, all reflected in the film. The Beatles are chased by hordes of fans, take a train trip, appear on TV, run from the police in a Keystone Cops-style sequence, and play a televised concert in front of screaming real-life Beatles fans.</p> <p>Side one of the album provides the soundtrack, and the film inspired pop music film and video from then on, from the <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060010/">Monkees TV series</a> (1966–68) to the Spice Girls’ <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120185/">Spice World</a> (1997) and music videos as we know them today.</p> <h2>The original music video</h2> <p>Postwar teen culture and consumerism had been on the rise since the 1950s. In 1960s Britain, youth music TV programmes, notably <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0196287/">Ready Steady Go!</a> (1963–66), meant pop music now had a developing visual culture.</p> <p>The youthful zest and vitality of ‘60s London was reflected in the pop-cultural sensibility, modern satirical humour and crisp visual impact of A Hard Day’s Night.</p> <p>Influenced by <a href="https://nofilmschool.com/french-new-wave-cinema">French New Wave</a> film making, and particularly the early 1960s work of <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000419/">Jean-Luc Godard</a>, A Hard Day’s Night employs <em><a href="https://indiefilmhustle.com/cinema-verite/">cinéma vérité</a></em>-style hand-held cinematography, brisk jump cuts, unusual framing and dynamic angles, high-spirited action, and a self-referential nonchalance.</p> <p>The film also breaks the “fourth wall”, with characters directly addressing the audience in closeup, and reveals the apparatus of the visual performance of music: cameras and TV monitors are all part of the frame.</p> <p>Cutting the shots to the beat of the music – as in the Can’t Buy Me Love sequence – lends a visual rhythm that would later become the norm in music video editing. Lester developed this technique further in the second Beatles film, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059260/">Help!</a> (1965).</p> <p>The closing sequence of A Hard Day’s Night is possibly the film’s most dynamic: photographic images of the band edited to the beat in the style of stop-motion animation. Sixty years on, it still feels fresh, especially as so much contemporary film making remains hidebound by formulaic Hollywood rules.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=453&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=453&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=453&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=569&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=569&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=569&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A Hard Day's Night movie poster" /><figcaption><span class="caption">A new pop aesthetic: original film poster for A Hard Day’s Night.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Getty Images</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Slapstick and class awareness</h2> <p>As with much popular culture from the past, the humour in A Hard Day’s Night doesn’t always doesn’t land the way it would have in 1964. And yet, there are moments that seem surprisingly modern in their razor-sharp irony.</p> <p>In particular, the band’s Liverpudlian working-class-lad jibes and chaotic energy contrast brilliantly with the film’s upper-class characters. Actor Victor Spinetti’s comically over-anxious TV director, constantly hand-wringing over the boys’ rebelliousness, underscores the era-defining change the Beatles represented.</p> <p>Corporate pop-culture consumerism is also satirised. John Lennon “snorts” from a Coca-Cola bottle, a moment so knowingly silly it registers as more contemporary than it really is. George Harrison deflects a journalist’s banal questions with scathingly witty answers, and cuts a fashion company down to size by describing their shirt designs as “grotesque”.</p> <p>And there is Paul McCartney’s running joke that his grandfather – played by Wilfred Brambell from groundbreaking sitcom <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057785/">Steptoe and Son</a> (1962–74) – is “very clean”.</p> <p>Even the film’s old-fashioned visual slapstick still holds up in 2024. Showing the film to this year’s students, I didn’t expect quite as much laughter when Ringo’s attempts to be chivalrous result in a fall-down-a-hole mishap.</p> <p>In 2022, the <a href="https://www.criterion.com/">Criterion Collection</a> released a high-resolution restoration of the film, so today A Hard Day’s Night can be seen in all its fresh, black-and-white, youthful vigour.</p> <p>Happy 60th, A Hard Day’s Night. And happy 84th, Ringo. Both still as lively and energetic as ever.<!-- 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/228598/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-blair-223267"><em>Alison Blair</em></a><em>, Teaching Fellow in Music, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-otago-1304">University of Otago</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>credits: THA/Shutterstock Editorial </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/still-fab-after-60-years-how-the-beatles-a-hard-days-night-made-pop-cinema-history-228598">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Movies

Placeholder Content Image

It’s so hard to see a doctor right now. What are my options?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anthony-scott-10738">Anthony Scott</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p>Deciding whether to wait and see if your health condition improves or go to a GP can be a difficult task. You might be unsure about where to go, whom to see, how much it will cost and whether you’ll need to take time off work.</p> <p>These choices can create significant barriers to accessing health care in Australia. There is often limited information available about the pros and cons of the different options. Often, we stick to what we know, unaware of better alternatives.</p> <p>But making the wrong decision about how to access care can impact both your health and finances. So what are your options? And what policy reforms are needed to improve affordable access to care for all Australians?</p> <h2>How quickly can I be seen?</h2> <p>Access depends on how long it takes you to speak to a GP, or be seen in an emergency department, or by a community pharmacist, or a nurse practitioner whom you can see directly. Access depends on where you live and the time of day.</p> <p>The rise of telehealth means GPs now get paid to talk to you on the phone, which is great for many minor ailments, medical certificates, repeat scripts or getting test results. Call centres such as <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/">Healthdirect</a> have been available for some time and now <a href="https://www.vved.org.au/patients/">virtual emergency departments</a> can also see you online.</p> <p>There are even GPs who only provide their services <a href="https://www.instantscripts.com.au/gp-online/">online</a> if you can pay. A phone call can save you valuable time. Before COVID, you needed to take half a day off work to see a GP, now it takes five to ten minutes and the GP even calls you.</p> <p>Things get more tricky outside of normal working hours and at weekends – appointments are harder to come by, it is unlikely you will be able to see a GP whom you know, and out-of-pocket costs might be higher.</p> <p>If you can’t wait, your local emergency department is likely to be more accessible, or you might be lucky enough to live near a bulk-billed Medicare <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/find-a-medicare-ucc">urgent care clinic</a>, where you don’t need an appointment. Tomorrow’s federal budget <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/more-free-urgent-care-clinics-part-of-8-5-billion-health-commitment-20240511-p5jcse.html">will include</a> funding for another 29 urgent care clinics, on top of the 58 already operating.</p> <p>But things are much worse if you live if a rural or remote area, where choice is limited and you need to wait much longer for GP appointments or travel long distances. Telehealth helps but can be expensive if it is not with your usual doctor.</p> <h2>Who will I see?</h2> <p>Access depends on who you will see. At the moment, this will usually be your GP (or, depending on the severity of your health concern, your community pharmacist or local emergency department staff). But to see your preferred GP you might need to wait as they are usually very busy.</p> <p>But a <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/issues-papers?language=en">review</a> of “scope of practice” in primary care aims to free up GPs’ time and use their skills more effectively.</p> <p>So in future, you could receive more of your health care from qualified nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and other health professionals.</p> <p>But which tasks can be delegated to other health professionals is a significant bone of contention for GPs. For GP practices facing significant cost pressures, safely delegating tasks to other less costly health professionals also makes good business sense.</p> <h2>How much will it cost?</h2> <p>Access depends on out-of-pocket costs. Bulk billing of GP services reached a peak of <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/medicare-quarterly-statistics-state-and-territory-december-quarter-2023-24?language=en">89.6%</a> in the September quarter of 2022 but plummeted to 76.5% by the September quarter of 2023.</p> <p>Last November, bulk billing incentives for children under 16 and those on concession cards were tripled, and between November and December 2023 bulk billing had <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-mark-butler-mp/media/bulk-billing-slide-stopped-thanks-to-albanese-government?language=en">increased</a> from 76.5% to 77.7%.</p> <p>They key issue for patients is that it remains uncertain whether a GP will bulk bill you. You often don’t know this until you get into the consultation, at which point you can’t back out. Unless the whole practice bulk bills and so it is guaranteed, it’s entirely up to the GP whether you are bulk billed. It’s difficult to think of any other service where you don’t know how much you will pay until after you have used it.</p> <h2>How can policymakers improve access to care?</h2> <p>Government policies to strengthen primary care have focused on giving patients improved access through telehealth, urgent care clinics and <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/strengthening-medicare-taskforce-report?language=en">Strengthening Medicare</a> initiatives, which are currently being developed.</p> <p>But uncertainty surrounding out-of-pocket costs can deter people from seeking medical attention, or delay care or go instead to the emergency department or urgent care clinic where there is no out-of-pocket cost.</p> <p><a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-services/patient-experiences/latest-release">Cost is a factor</a> that leads to 20% of those with a mental health problem and 30% of those with chronic disease to delay or avoid visiting a health professional. Those most in need are more likely to miss out on necessary visits and prescriptions, sometimes with disastrous consequences. A recent <a href="https://academic.oup.com/qje/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/qje/qjae015/7664375?login=false">study</a> shows people can die if they stop heart medications due to increased out-of-pocket costs.</p> <p>The next task for policymakers should be developing policies to guarantee there are no out-of-pocket costs for those on low incomes. This could be a worthwhile investment in our health and should be included in tomorrow’s budget.<!-- 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/229191/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/anthony-scott-10738">Anthony Scott</a>, Professor of Health Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/its-so-hard-to-see-a-doctor-right-now-what-are-my-options-229191">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Why do I keep getting urinary tract infections? And why are chronic UTIs so hard to treat?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/iris-lim-1204657">Iris Lim</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a></em></p> <p>Dealing with chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs) means facing more than the occasional discomfort. It’s like being on a never ending battlefield against an unseen adversary, making simple daily activities a trial.</p> <p>UTIs happen when bacteria sneak into the urinary system, causing pain and frequent trips to the bathroom.</p> <p>Chronic UTIs take this to the next level, coming back repeatedly or never fully going away despite treatment. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557479/">Chronic UTIs</a> are typically diagnosed when a person experiences two or more infections within six months or three or more within a year.</p> <p>They can happen to anyone, but some are more prone due to their <a href="https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/u/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults">body’s makeup or habits</a>. Women are more likely to get UTIs than men, due to their shorter urethra and hormonal changes during menopause that can decrease the protective lining of the urinary tract. Sexually active people are also at greater risk, as bacteria can be transferred around the area.</p> <p>Up to <a href="https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/u/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults#Related%20Resources">60% of women</a> will have at least one UTI in their lifetime. While effective treatments exist, <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/bladder-and-bowel/when-urinary-tract-infections-keep-coming-back#:%7E:text=Your%20urine%20might%20be%20cloudy,they%20take%20on%20your%20life.">about 25%</a> of women face recurrent infections within six months. Around <a href="https://sciendo.com/article/10.33073/pjm-2019-048?tab=article">20–30%</a> of UTIs don’t respond to standard antibiotic. The challenge of chronic UTIs lies in bacteria’s ability to shield themselves against treatments.</p> <h2>Why are chronic UTIs so hard to treat?</h2> <p>Once thought of as straightforward infections cured by antibiotics, we now know chronic UTIs are complex. The cunning nature of the bacteria responsible for the condition allows them to hide in bladder walls, out of antibiotics’ reach.</p> <p>The bacteria form biofilms, a kind of protective barrier that makes them nearly impervious to standard antibiotic treatments.</p> <p>This ability to evade treatment has led to a troubling <a href="https://theconversation.com/rising-antibiotic-resistance-in-utis-could-cost-australia-1-6-billion-a-year-by-2030-heres-how-to-curb-it-149543">increase in antibiotic resistance</a>, a global health concern that renders some of the conventional treatments ineffective.</p> <p>Antibiotics need to be advanced to keep up with evolving bacteria, in a similar way to the flu vaccine, which is updated annually to combat the latest strains of the flu virus. If we used the same flu vaccine year after year, its effectiveness would wane, just as overused antibiotics lose their power against bacteria that have adapted.</p> <p>But fighting bacteria that resist antibiotics is much tougher than updating the flu vaccine. Bacteria change in ways that are harder to predict, making it more challenging to create new, effective antibiotics. It’s like a never-ending game where the bacteria are always one step ahead.</p> <p>Treating chronic UTIs still relies heavily on antibiotics, but doctors are getting crafty, changing up medications or prescribing low doses over a longer time to outwit the bacteria.</p> <p>Doctors are also placing a greater emphasis on thorough diagnostics to accurately identify chronic UTIs from the outset. By asking detailed questions about the duration and frequency of symptoms, health-care providers can better distinguish between isolated UTI episodes and chronic conditions.</p> <p>The approach to initial treatment can significantly influence the likelihood of a UTI becoming chronic. Early, targeted therapy, based on the specific bacteria causing the infection and its antibiotic sensitivity, may reduce the risk of recurrence.</p> <p>For post-menopausal women, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00192-020-04397-z">estrogen therapy</a> has shown promise in reducing the risk of recurrent UTIs. After menopause, the decrease in estrogen levels can lead to changes in the urinary tract that makes it more susceptible to infections. This treatment restores the balance of the vaginal and urinary tract environments, making it less likely for UTIs to occur.</p> <p>Lifestyle changes, such as <a href="https://journals.lww.com/co-nephrolhypertens/FullText/2013/05001/Impact_of_fluid_intake_in_the_prevention_of.1.aspx">drinking more water</a> and practising good hygiene like washing hands with soap after going to the toilet and the recommended front-to-back wiping for women, also play a big role.</p> <p>Some swear by cranberry juice or supplements, though researchers are still figuring out <a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001322.pub2/full">how effective these remedies truly are</a>.</p> <h2>What treatments might we see in the future?</h2> <p>Scientists are currently working on new treatments for chronic UTIs. One promising avenue is the development of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10052183/pdf/pathogens-12-00359.pdf">vaccines</a> aimed at preventing UTIs altogether, much like flu shots prepare our immune system to fend off the flu.</p> <p>Another new method being looked at is called <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12223-019-00750-y">phage therapy</a>. It uses special viruses called bacteriophages that go after and kill only the bad bacteria causing UTIs, while leaving the good bacteria in our body alone. This way, it doesn’t make the bacteria resistant to treatment, which is a big plus.</p> <p>Researchers are also exploring the potential of <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2079-6382/12/1/167">probiotics</a>. Probiotics introduce beneficial bacteria into the urinary tract to out-compete harmful pathogens. These good bacteria work by occupying space and resources in the urinary tract, making it harder for harmful pathogens to establish themselves.</p> <p>Probiotics can also produce substances that inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and enhance the body’s immune response.</p> <p>Chronic UTIs represent a stubborn challenge, but with a mix of current treatments and promising research, we’re getting closer to a day when chronic UTIs are a thing of the past.<!-- 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/223008/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/iris-lim-1204657">I<em>ris Lim</em></a><em>, Assistant Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-do-i-keep-getting-urinary-tract-infections-and-why-are-chronic-utis-so-hard-to-treat-223008">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

"It is hard to say": News anchor announces health news during broadcast

<p>A US news anchor has teared up during a live broadcast as she shared the news of her cancer diagnosis. </p> <p>Sara Sidner, a host of the CNN News Central program, announced with her loyal viewers that she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, and is currently undergoing radiation treatment. </p> <p>The 51-year-old news presenter shared she is in her second month of chemotherapy, as she is preparing to undergo a double mastectomy.</p> <p>At the end of the news broadcast, Sidner told viewers, "I don't smoke, I rarely drink, breast cancer does not run in my family. And yet here I am, with stage 3 breast cancer - it is hard to say out loud."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C12fWHxMqnY/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C12fWHxMqnY/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by CNN (@cnn)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>She went on to say she was feeling positive about the future of her illness, saying stage 3 breast cancer "is not a death sentence anymore for most women."</p> <p>Sidner became emotional as she urged women to conduct self-exams and to not skip their routine mammograms. </p> <p>"Try to catch it, before I did. I have thanked cancer for choosing me," she said, as her voice broke.</p> <p>"I am learning that no matter what we go through in life, that I am still madly in love with this life and just being alive feels really different for me now... I don't stress about foolish little things."</p> <p>In October, Sidner traveled to Israel to cover the ongoing war with Hamas when she was told she would need to undergo a biopsy upon her return to the US. </p> <p>After her diagnosis was confirmed, she told <a href="https://people.com/sara-sidner-breast-cancer-diagnosis-exclusive-interview-8423441" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>People</em> magazine</a> that she has found strength in the devastating stories she was told by those facing the reality of war. </p> <p>"Seeing the kind of suffering going on, where I was and seeing people still live through the worst thing that has ever happened to them with grace and kindness, I was blown away by their resilience," Sidner told <em>People</em>.</p> <p>"In some weird way, it helped me with my own perspective on what I am going to be facing."</p> <p><em>Image credits: CNN</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

The cost-of-living crisis is hitting hard. Here are 3 ways to soften the blow

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ama-samarasinghe-1386754">Ama Samarasinghe</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>As our wallets feel the strain from the cost-of-living crisis, many of us are looking for ways to soften the blow.</p> <p>While everyone’s circumstances are different, and ideally you should seek help from an accredited financial adviser, there are some tried and true ways to work out where all your money is going and why.</p> <p>Here are three practical tips to reduce the impact of the cost-of-living increases, and stretch every hard-earned dollar.</p> <h2>1. Hunt for a better loan rate</h2> <p>For many households, the biggest hit comes from the mortgage, so start there.</p> <p>Even a modest 0.5% reduction can translate into substantial savings. Call your bank today and just ask for rate reduction. If the answer is no, consider shopping around for a different lender.</p> <p>Your loyalty to your current lender might be costing you more than you realise. Banks often reserve their most attractive rates for new customers, leaving long-time customers paying higher-than-necessary interest.</p> <p>Even if your bank does agree to a rate reduction, explore the market anyway. There is a range of free rate-comparison websites, or you can directly check individual bank websites.</p> <p>If you find a lender offering a better rate, you might consider calling the competing bank to ask about switching your mortgage to them.</p> <p>Or, you might seek assistance from a mortgage broker, who can guide you through the process of securing a better deal (just remember they often take <a href="https://www.canstar.com.au/home-loans/mortgage-brokers-fees/">commissions</a> from lenders).</p> <p>Tread carefully and factor in any exit fees or charges from your current lender. Refinancing isn’t without risk, so a thorough cost-benefit analysis is important before making the switch.</p> <p>Also consider the value of features such as <a href="https://moneysmart.gov.au/glossary/offset-account">offset accounts</a>. An offset account, linked to your home loan, allows you to deposit money such as your salary and savings. This money is then “<a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/smp/2015/aug/box-e-offset-account-balances-and-housing-credit.html">offset</a>” against your home loan balance.</p> <p>That means you only pay interest on the outstanding amount (the loan minus whatever salary and savings you put in the offset). This can accelerate loan repayment and reduce interest costs.</p> <p>Keep in mind that offset accounts are typically only available with variable interest rates. Offset accounts work best if you have considerable savings to put into the offset account that outweigh the additional fees and charges attached to offset accounts.</p> <h2>2. Trim your expenses and uncover hidden savings</h2> <p>It’s time to become a budget detective, identifying and cutting down on non-essential costs that might be quietly draining your wallet.</p> <p>Take a close look at those recurring memberships and subscriptions. How often do you actually use that gym membership or streaming service?</p> <p>Many banking apps have handy spending tracking features to help you set realistic budget goals for each spending category.</p> <p>According to the <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/economy/price-indexes-and-inflation/selected-living-cost-indexes-australia/latest-release">Australian Bureau of Statistics</a>, insurance and financial services are among the top risers in living cost indexes (which measure the price change of goods and services and its effect on living expenses). So search comparison websites for better insurance premiums.</p> <p>Australia’s insurance market is competitive, and you can often get discounts by bundling your insurances together (for example, having your home and contents insurance with the same company that also provides your car insurance). However, don’t shy away from exploring different insurers for potentially better value.</p> <p>Don’t overlook energy costs, either. Use comparison websites like <a href="https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/">Energy Made Easy</a> (or, if you’re in Victoria, the <a href="https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au/">Victorian Energy Compare</a> site) to find more cost-effective energy plans. Stay updated on rebates and concessions via the federal government’s <a href="https://energy.gov.au">Energy.gov.au</a> site, to ensure you’re maximising your entitlements.</p> <p>Use less energy, if you can. Small adjustments can make a significant dent in your bills. And for fuel costs, find websites and applications that allow you to lock in the lowest prices in your area.</p> <p>If you’re renting, ask yourself whether moving to a cheaper suburb or a cheaper home is an option.</p> <p>Many people use cashback sites like Cashrewards and ShopBack to accrue cashback incentives.</p> <h2>3. Maximise returns and tackle high-interest debts</h2> <p>While rising interest rates might make your mortgage climb, it also means high interest on your savings.</p> <p>Consider exploring high-yield savings accounts; with current interest rates, you could potentially earn around 5.5% with a bank savings account. Many people set up recurring transfers to help them stick to savings goals, increase deposits and maximise interest earnings.</p> <p>For those wrestling with high-interest debts such as credit cards or personal loans, prioritise settling outstanding balances to minimise interest payments. It can be hard to escape the long-term repercussions (such as a <a href="https://theconversation.com/payday-lending-trap-requires-a-credit-supply-rethink-39311">poor credit score</a>) of defaulting on <a href="https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2022/09/21/researchers-uncover--pecking-order-of-defaults--as-belts-tighten.html">high-interest loans</a>.</p> <p>And approach buy-now, pay-later services with extreme caution. They may seem tempting but the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acfi.13100">debts can quickly add up</a>.</p> <p>And if you need more help, contact the government’s free National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.<!-- 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/218118/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ama-samarasinghe-1386754"><em>Ama Samarasinghe</em></a><em>, Lecturer, Financial Planning and Tax, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-cost-of-living-crisis-is-hitting-hard-here-are-3-ways-to-soften-the-blow-218118">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

"It was hard to watch": Sean Connery's final days revealed

<p>Sean Connery's final moments have been revealed in a new book, <em>Connery, Sean Connery</em>, which dives into his decades-long career and the obstacles he faced in life. </p> <p>The Scottish actor, who rose to fame as the original <em>James Bond</em>, passed away on October 31, 2020, at the age of 90. </p> <p>The book written by Herbie J Pilato, features never-before-published commentary from Connery's friend, Brendan Lynch about the actor's final days. </p> <p>The Oscar winner struggled with dementia before his passing, and the book claims that Lynch was requested by Connery’s wife, Micheline Roquebrune, to visit his friend “as much as possible in his last days." </p> <p>In the book, Lynch recalled: “Because he wasn’t well at all, Micheline did ask me to try and see a bit more of him in the end.” </p> <p>“He didn’t want to have people that he didn’t know hanging around, so I would stop in to visit.”</p> <p>“I was crying at times to see this mountain of a man — this monumental human achievement in such a terrible state — frail (mentally and physically) unable to carry on a conversation or finish off a sentence,” Lynch said. </p> <p>“To see his body weak and flawed at the end… it was very sad. We tried to have a conversation. I tried to tell him what was going on in the sporting world, despite knowing that he wasn’t actually taking it all in.”</p> <p>Pilato told <em>Fox News Digital </em>that he spoke to numerous other sources and co-stars to get a better understanding of the man behind the iconic character.</p> <p>“Dementia is not just a mental issue. You’re affected physically in other ways… It affects everything. So it’s not just the mind. And to see someone who was so strong battling this disease — it was difficult," Pilato said. </p> <p>“If anybody looked like a movie star, it was Sean Connery,” he shared. “But towards the end, when he was frail, it was hard to watch. It was hard to see that.”</p> <p>According to the book, the actor's health was kept private “for some time" as he spent his final days  surrounded by “sprawling golf courses, near wide-open silky sands and… clear blue Bahamian waters.” </p> <p>Connery died in his sleep, and according to his wife it was exactly "what he wanted.”</p> <p>“At least he died in his sleep, and it was just so peaceful,” she told <em>The Daily Mail </em>on Sunday. </p> <p>“I was with him all the time, and he just slipped away. It was what he wanted."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Almost half of Moon missions fail. Why is space still so hard?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gail-iles-761554">Gail Iles</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>In 2019, India attempted to land a spacecraft on the Moon – and ended up painting a kilometres-long streak of debris on its barren surface. Now the Indian Space Research Organisation has returned in triumph, with the Chandrayaan-3 lander <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/india/india-counts-down-crucial-moon-landing-2023-08-23/">successfully touching down</a> near the south pole of Earth’s rocky neighbour.</p> <p>India’s success came just days after a <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-02659-6">spectacular Russian failure</a>, when the Luna 25 mission tried to land nearby and “ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the lunar surface”.</p> <p>These twin missions remind us that, close to 60 years after the first successful “soft landing” on the Moon, spaceflight is still difficult and dangerous. Moon missions in particular are still a coin flip, and we have seen several high-profile failures in recent years.</p> <p>Why were these missions unsuccessful and why did they fail? Is there a secret to the success of countries and agencies who have achieved a space mission triumph?</p> <h2>An exclusive club</h2> <p>The Moon is the only celestial location humans have visited (so far). It makes sense to go there first: it’s the closest planetary body to us, at a distance of around 400,000 kilometres.</p> <p>Yet only four countries have achieved successful “soft landings” – landings which the spacecraft survives – on the lunar surface.</p> <p>The USSR was the first. The <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_9">Luna 9</a> mission safely touched down on the Moon almost 60 years ago, in February 1966. The United States followed suit a few months later, in June 1966, with the <a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/air-space-magazine/1966-the-real-first-moon-landing-118785850/">Surveyor 1</a> mission.</p> <p>China was the next country to join the club, with the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang%27e_3">Chang'e 3</a> mission in 2013. And now India too has arrived, with <a href="https://amp.theguardian.com/science/2023/aug/23/india-chandrayaan-3-moon-landing-mission">Chandrayaan-3</a>.</p> <p>Missions from Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Russia, the European Space Agency, Luxembourg, South Korea and Italy have also had <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_missions_to_the_Moon">some measure of lunar success</a> with fly-bys, orbiters and impacts (whether intentional or not).</p> <h2>Crashes are not uncommon</h2> <p>On August 19 2023, the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced that “communication with the <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-02659-6">Luna 25 spacecraft</a> was interrupted”, after an impulse command was sent to the spacecraft to lower its orbit around the Moon. Attempts to contact the spacecraft on August 20 were unsuccessful, leading Roscosmos to determine Luna 25 had crashed.</p> <p>Despite more than 60 years of spaceflight experience extending from the USSR to modern Russia, this mission failed. We don’t know exactly what happened – but the current situation in Russia, where resources are stretched thin and tensions are high due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, may well have been a factor.</p> <p>The Luna 25 failure recalled two high-profile lunar crashes in 2019.</p> <p>In April that year, the Israeli <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beresheet">Beresheet lander</a> crash-landed after a gyroscope failed during the braking procedure, and the ground control crew was unable to reset the component due to a loss of communications. It was later reported a capsule containing microscopic creatures called tardigrades, in a dormant “cryptobiotic” state, may have survived the crash.</p> <p>And in September, India sent its own Vikram lander down to the surface of the Moon – but it did not survive the landing. NASA later <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/dec/03/indias-crashed-vikram-moon-lander-spotted-on-lunar-surface">released an image</a> taken by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showing the site of the Vikram lander’s impact. Debris was scattered over almost two dozen locations spanning several kilometres.</p> <h2>Space is still risky</h2> <p>Space missions are a risky business. Just over <a href="https://www.businessinsider.in/science/space/news/success-rate-of-lunar-missions-is-a-little-over-50-as-per-nasa-database/articleshow/101774227.cms">50% of lunar missions succeed</a>. Even <a href="https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/20190002705/downloads/20190002705.pdf">small satellite missions</a> to Earth’s orbit don’t have a perfect track record, with a success rate somewhere between 40% and 70%.</p> <p>We could compare uncrewed with crewed missions: around <a href="https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20230518-what-are-the-odds-of-a-successful-space-launch">98% of the latter are successful</a>, because people are more invested in people. Ground staff working to support a crewed mission will be more focused, management will invest more resources, and delays will be accepted to prioritise the safety of the crew.</p> <p>We could talk about the details of why so many uncrewed missions fail. We could talk about technological difficulties, lack of experience, and even the political landscapes of individual countries.</p> <p>But perhaps it’s better to step back from the details of individual missions and look at averages, to see the overall picture more clearly.</p> <h2>The big picture</h2> <p>Rocket launches and space launches are not very common in the scheme of things. There are <a href="https://www.pd.com.au/blogs/how-many-cars-in-the-world/">around 1.5 billion cars</a> in the world, and perhaps <a href="https://www.travelweek.ca/news/exactly-many-planes-world-today/">40,000 aeroplanes</a>. By contrast, there have been fewer than <a href="https://planet4589.org/space/gcat/data/derived/launchlog.html">20,000 space launches</a> in all of history.</p> <p>Plenty of things still go wrong with cars, and problems occur even in the better-regulated world of planes, from loose rivets to computers overriding pilot inputs. And we have more than a century of experience with these vehicles, in every country on the planet.</p> <p>So perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect spaceflight – whether it’s the launch stage of rockets, or the even rarer stage of trying to land on an alien world – to have ironed out all its problems.</p> <p>We are still very much in the early, pioneering days of space exploration.</p> <h2>Monumental challenges remain</h2> <p>If humanity is ever to create a fully fledged space-faring civilisation, we must <a href="https://www.wired.com/2016/02/space-is-cold-vast-and-deadly-humans-will-explore-it-anyway/">overcome monumental challenges</a>.</p> <p>To make long-duration, long-distance space travel possible, there are a huge number of problems to be solved. Some of them seem within the realm of the possible, such as better radiation shielding, self-sustaining ecosystems, autonomous robots, extracting air and water from raw resources, and zero-gravity manufacturing. Others are still speculative hopes, such as faster-than-light travel, instantaneous communication, and artificial gravity.</p> <p>Progress will be little by little, small step by slightly larger step. Engineers and space enthusiasts will keep putting their brainpower, time and energy into space missions, and they will gradually become more reliable.</p> <p>And maybe one day we’ll see a time when going for a ride in your spacecraft is as safe as getting in your car.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Correction: a typing error in the original version of this article put the Surveyor 1 mission in 1996, rather than its actual year of 1966.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211914/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/gail-iles-761554">Gail Iles</a>, Senior Lecturer in Physics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/almost-half-of-moon-missions-fail-why-is-space-still-so-hard-211914">original article</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Lucy Letby: it is not being ‘beige’, ‘average’ or ‘normal’ that makes her crimes so hard to understand

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lizzie-seal-183829">Lizzie Seal</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sussex-1218">University of Sussex</a></em></p> <p>In seeking to understand the crimes of Lucy Letby, the neonatal nurse who murdered seven babies in her care, a fixation about how “ordinary” she appears to be has emerged. At times like this, we seek answers, which perhaps explains the vague sense that understanding this apparent inconsistency can teach us a lesson for the future. But that is a circle that cannot be squared.</p> <p>Letby was sentenced to whole life imprisonment for the murders of seven babies carried out while she worked at Countess of Chester Hospital, in north-west England. She was found guilty of the attempted murder of six other babies and is suspected of having harmed more. She is variously described as a “serial killer” and a “serial killer nurse”. Letby meets the <a href="https://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi346">generally accepted criminological definition</a> of a serial killer – that is, someone who commits three or more murders on separate occasions which are not for revenge or material gain.</p> <p>Everyday understandings of serial killing are consistent with the criminological definition and, arguably, the “serial killer” is a compelling example of the overlap – and perhaps cross-pollination – between the academic and wider understandings of crime.</p> <p>Both academic and wider understandings of serial killing are shaped by portrayals and archetypes from fiction, film, television and true crime podcasts and documentaries. The ubiquity of portrayals of serial killers mean we reach for certain stock explanations of their actions.</p> <p>Quoting police officers involved in the investigation and former colleagues of Letby, news articles describe her as <a href="https://news.sky.com/story/who-is-lucy-letby-the-average-nurse-who-became-britains-most-prolific-child-killer-12943602">“average”</a> and <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/23003681/beige-lucy-letby-killer-nurse-death-toll/">“beige”</a>. Shock and confusion abound about the crimes of an “ordinary” young woman who did not stand out in terms of character or ability.</p> <p>The puzzle these descriptions create is how a “serial killer nurse” could possibly be someone so unremarkable. Letby lived in a three-bedroom semi-detached house, with a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/aug/18/lucy-letby-the-beige-and-average-nurse-who-turned-into-a-baby-killer">“happy Prosecco season”</a> sign adorning the wall of her kitchen and a collection of soft toys in her bedroom. Although <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/nurse-lucy-letby-motive-why-would-she-kill-babies-b2397008.html">motives were suggested</a> by the prosecution during her trial, they feel unsatisfactory.</p> <h2>Looking for answers in the wrong place</h2> <p>Our inability to parse “satisfying” explanations for Letby’s actions relates to her departure from accepted cultural scripts of serial killing. A prominent serial killer script is that of perceived deviance and transgression, whereby something pathological about the killer accounts for their personality and actions.</p> <p>Frequently, this pathology is along the lines of mental illness, as in one of the classic templates for modern cultural scripts of serial killing, Norman Bates in the film Psycho. Another recurrent portrayal is the serial killer who is motivated by sexual perversion. Lucy Letby’s apparent normality means she cannot be read through this script.</p> <p>The fact that <a href="https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-87488-9">she is a woman</a> while serial killers are overwhelmingly male adds to this (although serial killing by women, including nurses, is <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12423909/Other-cases-missed-Detective-nailed-Beverley-Allitt-says-like-Lucy-Letby-read-book-chillingly-similar-Angel-Death-case-30-years-believes-killer-nurses-have.html">not without precedent</a>).</p> <p><a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9780230369061_6">Popular culture has taught us</a> that a serial killer is a certain type of person. They are often even glamorised in films and TV shows. In his <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/36061">1996 memoir My Dark Places</a>, the novelist James Ellroy comments on the figure of the serial killer in 1990s popular culture: “serial killers were very unprosaic. They were hip, slick and cool”.</p> <p>Ellroy’s comment gets to the heart of why Lucy Letby feels like a dissonant serial killer. She is prosaic. But this is a red herring. We may have absorbed tropes about serial killers but that does not mean we understand them or their motives in any more depth than we understand why Letby killed.</p> <p>There is nothing truly conclusive about saying someone killed for power or sexual gratification, just as there is nothing conclusive about any of the explanations offered for Letby’s actions. Our belief that we understand reasons for serial killing – and thereby deviations from those reasons such as appearing “ordinary” – is based on familiar but incomplete narratives.</p> <p>Our cultural scripts about serial killers do not offer good explanations for their crimes. In reality, it is incredibly unusual for someone like Lucy Letby to be a serial killer because it is incredibly unusual for anyone to be a serial killer.<!-- 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/211960/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/lizzie-seal-183829">Lizzie Seal</a>, Professor of Criminology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sussex-1218">University of Sussex</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/lucy-letby-it-is-not-being-beige-average-or-normal-that-makes-her-crimes-so-hard-to-understand-211960">original article</a>.</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Hard to watch! Paralympic champion given the worst gifts ever

<p>A Spanish Paralympic cyclist has been given the worst trophy gifts in history, with his calm and collected reaction making waves online. </p> <p>Ricardo Ten Argiles was last week crowned world champion in three separate events at the 2023 UCI World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.</p> <p>During the post race ceremonies, he was presented with two gold medals, along with two very surprising gifts from the event's major sponsor: international watch company Tissot.</p> <p>The 47-year-old was gifted not one, but TWO watches in a fancy display case, despite having both his arms amputated at the forearm. </p> <p>A video of Ten keeping a straight face while being handed one of the watches has started to spread across the internet with more than 800,000 views.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Not a very well thought gift. <a href="https://t.co/hRhaTfnGsE">pic.twitter.com/hRhaTfnGsE</a></p> <p>— Cycling out of context (@OutOfCycling) <a href="https://twitter.com/OutOfCycling/status/1691136594747469836?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 14, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>One video shows Ten standing on the podium and exchanging some friendly words with an official as he holds the watch case tightly between his arms. </p> <p>Understandably, the mortifying moment has been met with outrage and black humour. </p> <p>The athlete himself has been laughing off the incident and has embraced the way his social media pages have exploded with comments.</p> <p>Many of the comments suggested that Ten regift the expensive watches at Christmas, while others wondered how officials at the event could've let the awkward gifts happen. </p> <p>Despite the outrage from fans, Ten responded to one news story about the “tactless blunder” by writing on Twitter, “I am very happy to have won two TISSOTs, one for each arm, but above all for what it means for Paralympic cycling, total inclusion of the sport at the highest level”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Twitter</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Rebel Wilson hospitalised after on-set mishap

<p>Rebel Wilson found herself in need of immediate medical attention after a stunt went awry on the set of her upcoming film, <em>Bride Hard</em>.</p> <p>The Aussie A-list superstar took to her Instagram account to share a photograph of her injuries, updating her fans on her condition following a "stunt accident at 4 am" on a Thursday during filming in Savannah, Georgia. The accident resulted in her requiring "three stitches."</p> <p>In the caption accompanying the image – a close-up showcasing her bloodied and swollen nose – Wilson expressed her disappointment, stating: “NOT the way I wanted to end this movie. Three stitches and in hospital last night after a stunt accident at 4am.”</p> <p>The star of <em>Bridesmaids</em> labeled her post with a crying emoji and depicted herself with a nose that was swollen and bleeding. </p> <p><em>Bride Hard</em>, according to IMDB, revolves around the takeover of an extravagant wedding by a group of mercenaries. The plot takes an unexpected twist when it's revealed that the maid of honour is, in fact, a covert agent.</p> <p>Amid these developments, Rebel Wilson disclosed her aspirations to expand her family by adding another child. She revealed that she's considering undergoing IVF treatments to realise this dream.</p> <p>The 43-year-old actress, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/rebel-wilson-shares-first-photo-of-baby-s-face" target="_blank" rel="noopener">who welcomed her daughter Royce Lillian</a> through a surrogate last November, spoke to E! News about her desire to provide her child with a sibling. </p> <p>She acknowledged the potential role of IVF in achieving this goal, saying, “It’s just like, well, is that possible? I have to do IVF. We’ll see how it goes."</p> <p>Regardless of the outcome, Wilson expressed contentment with her role as a mother, regardless of the size of her family. She fondly referred to her daughter as a "miracle."</p> <p>Wilson's daughter Royce Lillian is the result of her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/rebel-wilson-drops-huge-relationship-news" target="_blank" rel="noopener">partnership with Ramona Agruma</a>. The couple announced their engagement in February of the previous year.</p> <p>Wilson noted the transformative impact her daughter has had on her life, admitting that her parenting style turned out differently than anticipated. She finds herself to be more soft-hearted than she initially expected.</p> <p>The actress spoke of the heartwarming moments shared with her child, particularly after waking from a nap. She described the joy they experience upon reuniting as if they had been apart for only a short time. Wilson explained, "It's like we've only been separated for 45 minutes." The actress emphasised the depth of her affection, showering her daughter with affectionate hugs.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

“A little bit unfair”: Hard-working tradies blast age pension increase

<p dir="ltr">A group of tired tradies have rallied against the “unfair” decision to increase the age of eligibility for the age pension.</p> <p dir="ltr">The tradesmen, all in their 60s, simply said their bodies “can’t handle” working in manual labour until they’re 70, which may be in their future if the eligibility age continues to rise.</p> <p dir="ltr">The age to qualify for the pension was raised from 66 years and six months to 67 on July 1st with the move impacting any Australian born after December 31st, 1956.</p> <p dir="ltr">Experts predict the age could rise even further to 70 by the year 2050 with the news sparking backlash among hardworking Aussies.</p> <p dir="ltr">One man, a concreter in his mid-60s named Steve, said working the manual labour job was already taking a toll on his body and that the new retirement age was “unfair” on those working physically demanding jobs.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Now I'm starting to feel it more in my knees, I've got arthritis in my hands, I've had two back surgeries,” he told <em><a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/australian-tradies-outraged-over-decision-to-raise-pension-age-to-67/5b5c6dda-c995-44ad-bb29-98c625e9d276" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A Current Affair</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It does seem a little bit unfair that you have to work all your life.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Peter, who cuts down trees in the Gold Coast for a living, compared the raising of the pension age to the harsh realities of his job.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It's just like climbing a tree,” he said. “The injuries are just climbing all the time, it's getting harder, worse, sorer all the time.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He described what was happening as “very scary”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Unfortunately I thought 65 would be a nice time to retire and get on a pension but now we are talking 67,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Is it going to go up to 68, 69, 70?”</p> <p dir="ltr">Macquarie University Professor Hanlin Shang believes the pension age will need to rise to 70 or government spending will spiral out of control.</p> <p dir="ltr">He and other researchers estimate that the retirement age will rise to 68 by 2030, 69 in 2036 and 70 by 2050.</p> <p dir="ltr">“As Australians live longer than before, it presents a challenge to the government to fund retirees through a pension scheme,” Professor Shang said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite these challenges, Peter said politicians don't understand the burden that working physical jobs has on older bodies.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It would be nice to be a politician sitting on a nice comfortable chair all day in an air conditioned room or office,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They need to come out and see what it's like to do some physical work. That would make them change their mind in trying to stretch this pension out to 67, 68, 69, 70.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: A Current Affair</em></p>

Retirement Income

Placeholder Content Image

"Gosh, this is hard": Jana Pittman's cry for parenting advice

<p>Jana Pittman has pleaded with parents for advice on how to tackle the common issue of sleep deprivation with her two babies. </p> <p>The former Olympian and mum-of-six posted a lengthy story on Instagram, detailing  the sleep issues she is experiencing with 16-month-old twins Quinlan and Willow.</p> <p>In the candid post, the retired athlete turned doctor shared how much she was struggling, calling her babies "the worst sleepers" she's ever had. </p> <p>"So while I am managing... I am no longer thriving!"</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CuVN6n0haGj/?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/CuVN6n0haGj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Jana Pittman (@janapittmanofficial)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Pittman shared a series of vulnerable photos to her page, posing with her twins who celebrated their first birthday in March this year.</p> <p>"I love my kids but simultaneous twin sleep issues is killing me! Plus the new onset tantrums x 2 can drain the smiles away. They are 16mths old and the worst sleepers I have had," the mum captioned the post.</p> <p>"I used to call Willow 'princess peach' but her new name is 'cranky crab' and 'Quinny Bear' is now 'midnight monster'."</p> <p>"I joke.. but sleep deprivation is real!! They will grow out of it in time and I know how privileged I am to have them when so many are struggling with infertility but gosh this is hard!!"</p> <p>Jana admitted she had even hired a sleep consult to try to help her kids' issues, but Pittman's working schedule made it hard for her kids to form a routine. </p> <p>"I work a lot of nights, so my little ones have different people caring for them. It means routine is hard," she expressed.</p> <p>She then ended her post with a call out to other parents for advice, writing, "Anything that works, please share as I am sure I am not the only one on this roller coaster."</p> <p>Many parents chimed in to the comment section sharing their pieces of advice, while the overall message to the Olympian was to hang in there, as her babies will eventually grow out of it.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

King Charles hit hard by cost of living crisis

<p>As the cost of living crisis continues around the world, it seems even those at the very top are not as immune from the financial uncertainty as expected. </p> <p>King Charles and the royal family are the latest hit by the crisis, with the Crown Estate losing half a billion pounds (approx. $950 million AUD) on its London property portfolio after the value of retail space crashed.</p> <p>King Charles was reportedly forced to dip into the royal reserves by £21 million (approx. $40 million AUD) due to overspending by the Palace, while staff have implemented a number of cost-cutting measures across the various royal estates including turning down the heating.</p> <p>Following a year of "unprecedented" royal activity that saw both the death of Queen Elizabeth and the coronation of King Charles, Buckingham Palace's net expenditure grew by more than £5 million this year, to £107.5 million (approx. $203 million AUD) in just a few short months. </p> <p>The spending was used on events such as the Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, the Queen's funeral, preparation for the King's coronation and the joining of two royal households.</p> <p>During a media briefing on Tuesday, Sir Michael Stevens, keeper of the royal family's Sovereign Grant, emphasised that it had been "an exceptional year" for the royal household.</p> <p>He said the financial strain related to a year of "grief, change and celebration, the like of which our nation has not witnessed for seven decades".</p> <p>The historic events, he said, have "inevitably entailed additional burdens on resources" to ensure that they were "delivered safely and smoothly, and that the change of reign was effected as seamlessly as possible at a time of great national and international interest".</p> <p>The Platinum Jubilee cost £700,000 (approx. $1.3 million AUD), while the Queen's funeral cost £1.6 million (approx. $3.5 million AUD).</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

"It's been really hard": Nicole Kidman's Mother's Day heartbreak

<p>Nicole Kidman has opened up about her heartache on <a href="https://www.innovations.com.au/p/gifts/mothers-day-gifts?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=nativearticle&amp;utm_campaign=MothersDayGifts" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mother’s Day</a> this year as she continues to remain in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>The 52-year-old is currently living with husband Keith Urban and their two daughters, 11-year-old Sunday Rose and nine-year-old Faith Margaret in her Nashville home.</p> <p>And despite spending the special day with her daughters, there was one person noticeably absent from the day.</p> <p>Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald via telephone, Nicole became emotional due to not seeing her mum on Mother’s Day this year.</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/B9pwH7fpfow/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9pwH7fpfow/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Happy Birthday to my darling Mumma. I love you so much. This photo is so US! 😂 ❤️ 🥰</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" href="https://www.instagram.com/nicolekidman/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Nicole Kidman</a> (@nicolekidman) on Mar 12, 2020 at 4:40pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“We’re in a position where we just have to relinquish control right now and go day by day,” she said.</p> <p>But as much as she tries to remain optimistic, that hasn’t detracted from the hard reality of being away from her extended family.</p> <p>“I have my immediate family here, but I don’t have my extended family, who are so much a part of me. I can’t touch them,” she said.</p> <p>“So many people are in exactly the same position. So many people right now are going, ‘When do I see my family again?’”</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/CAA2TmspCxP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CAA2TmspCxP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">I know so many of us are not getting the chance to kiss and hug our Mums today, but to all the Mothers of the world - we are always with you and celebrating you 💕 #MothersDay</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" href="https://www.instagram.com/nicolekidman/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Nicole Kidman</a> (@nicolekidman) on May 10, 2020 at 9:00am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The actress described her mum as “my mentor, my guide and my nurturer”, while adding that she was extremely grateful for Keith’s mother Marienne.</p> <p>“She gave me Keith, she gave me the greatest gift,” she said.</p> <p>“And I am down-on-my-knees grateful to her.”</p> <p>For the day itself, Kidman described her ideal celebration with her mum.</p> <p>"I would love to be able to have a cup of tea with mum and sit on the balcony and talk about life and have her tell me what I should be doing," the actress said.</p> <p>She also said that it had been “really hard” as her mother made the difficult decision to move back to Australia so she can spend time with her 80-year-old mum.</p> <p>"Talk about just gut-wrenching. At least there's FaceTime and technology because that's been a saving grace... It's been really hard," she said.</p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

"Today is a very hard day": Robert Wagner's family heartbreak

<p>Seasoned actor and <em>Hart to Hart</em> star Robert Wagner has revealed his sister, Mary Jane, has died.</p> <p>The 93-year-old shared the news on his Instagram account, sharing photos of his late sister and a sweet tribute.</p> <p>"Today is a very hard day," he wrote. "Early this morning, my sister, Mary, passed away."</p> <p>The post continued, "while she is no longer in pain, she will be terribly missed. Please keep her children and grandchildren in your thoughts."</p> <p>Wagner also tagged the accounts of his family members alongside the hashtags #LoveMySister, #Loved, #RIP and #Family.</p> <p>The star recently turned 93 and took to Instagram to show his appreciation for family, friends and fans, saying, “It’s been a wonderful birthday for me and you all have made it extra special,”</p> <p>He paired his post with the simple caption, “Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I love you all so much.”</p> <p>Fellow celebs wished him the best for his special day, “Your the best RJ you've given us all so many great years of your talent and grace. Happy birthday." wrote Frank Stallone.</p> <p>“Happy Birthday dear RJ.” Mia Farrow wrote.</p> <p>The actor is best known for his role in <em>Hart to Hart</em>, as well as his two-time marriage to <em>West Side Story</em> actress Natalie Wood. The pair were first married from 1957 to 1962 and then again from 1972 to 1981. Their marriage ended after Wood died from drowning while out with Wagner on their yacht.</p> <p>Later, Wagner married <em>Diamonds Are Forever</em> Bond girl Jill St. John in 1990, who was friends with Woods. The two are still happily married.</p> <p>Wagner was also known for roles, including the films <em>The Pink Panther </em>(1963), the <em>Austin Powers</em> series and TV show It <em>Takes a Thief</em>.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

What’s the ‘weight set point’, and why does it make it so hard to keep weight off?

<p>If you’ve ever tried to lose weight but found the kilos return almost as quickly as they left, you’re not alone.</p> <p>In fact, the challenge of maintaining weight loss is confirmed by research, including an analysis of 29 <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5764193/">long-term weight loss studies</a> that found more than half of the weight lost by participants was regained within two years, and more than 80% of lost weight was regained within five years.</p> <p>When we regain weight, we tend to blame it on a lack of willpower. </p> <p>But there’s a scientific reason many people return to their previous weight after dieting, and understanding the science – known as the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2990627/">weight set point theory</a> – is key to achieving long-term weight loss.</p> <h2>What is the weight set point?</h2> <p>We each have a predetermined weight – a set point – which our body protects. It’s the weight you’ll remember being at for a long period of time in your adult years (over 20 years of age) and it’s the weight you’ll remember bouncing back to after any bout of dieting.</p> <p>It’s programmed in the early years of life – particularly during the first 2,000 days of life – from conception to five years of age. Our <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6538464/">genes</a> play a role in programming our weight set point. Just as DNA prescribes whether we’re shorter or taller than others, we’re <a href="https://fn.bmj.com/content/86/1/F2.2">born</a> with a tendency to be slim or overweight. But our genetic make-up is just a predisposition, not an inevitable fate.</p> <p>Weight set point is also influenced by the environmental factors genes may be exposed to during pregnancy and the first years of life. It explains why some children who are fed a poor diet are more susceptible to unhealthy weight gain (due to their genetic make-up) while others are not. Research shows unhealthy weight gain during the early years of life is likely to persist throughout <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26696565/">adolescence and adulthood</a>.</p> <p>Lastly, our body weight is influenced by the environment itself. For example, an unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle and poor sleep will result in an increase in your weight set point over time and at a rate of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3151731/">0.5 kilograms per year</a>. </p> <p>Our bodies work hard to keep our weight around our set point by adjusting our biological systems, regulating how much we eat, how we store fat and expend energy. This stems from our hunter-gatherer ancestors, whose bodies developed this survival response to adapt to periods of deprivation when food was scarce to protect against starvation. Unfortunately, this means our body is very good at protecting against weight loss but not weight gain.</p> <h2>How our bodies work to protect our set point when we diet</h2> <p>When we change our diet to lose weight, we take our body out of its comfort zone and trigger its survival response. It then counteracts weight loss, triggering <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25896063/">several physiological responses</a> to defend our body weight and “survive” starvation. </p> <p>Our body’s survival mechanisms want us to regain lost weight to ensure we survive the next period of famine (dieting), which is why many people who regain weight after dieting end up weighing more than when they started.</p> <p>Our bodies achieve this result in several ways.</p> <p>1. Our metabolism slows and our thyroid gland misfires</p> <p>Our metabolic rate – how much energy we burn at rest – is determined by how much muscle and fat we have. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, meaning it burns more calories. Typically, when we diet to lose weight, we lose both fat and muscle, and the decrease in our calorie-burning muscle mass slows our metabolism, slowing the rate at which we lose weight.</p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7632212/">Research</a> also shows that for every diet attempt, the rate at which we burn off food <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22535969/">slows by 15%</a> and that even after we regain lost weight, our metabolism <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27136388/">doesn’t recover</a>. But exercise can help restore and speed up our <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10956341/">metabolism</a> as it improves our muscle to fat ratio.</p> <p>Dieting also affects our thyroid gland – the gatekeeper to our metabolism. When our thyroid functions correctly, it produces vital hormones that control our energy levels and metabolism, but when we restrict our food intake, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16322796/">fewer hormones are secreted</a>, reducing the energy we burn at rest</p> <p>2. our energy sources are used differently</p> <p>Our bodies predominantly burn fat stores at rest, but when we diet and start losing weight, our body adapts for protection. It <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7572701/">switches</a> from using fat as its energy source to carbohydrates and holds onto its fat, resulting in less energy being burned at rest</p> <p>3. our appetite hormones adjust</p> <p>Appetite hormones play a large part in weight management. When we’re hungry, the stomach releases a hormone called ghrelin to let our brain know it’s time to eat. Our gut and fat tissue also release hormones to signal fullness and tell us it’s time to stop eating. </p> <p>However, when we diet and deprive our bodies of food, these hormones work differently to defend our set point weight, suppressing feelings of fullness and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22029981/">telling us to eat more</a>. Like our metabolism, appetite hormones don’t return to the same levels before dieting, meaning feelings of hunger can prevail, even after weight is regained</p> <p>4. our adrenal gland functions differently</p> <p>Our adrenal gland manages the hormone cortisol, which it releases when a stressor – <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10918539/">like dieting</a> – is imposed. Excess cortisol production and its presence in our blood leads to weight gain because it plays a vital role in how our bodies process, store and burn fat</p> <p>5. our brain works differently</p> <p>Typically, diets tell us to restrict certain foods or food groups to reduce our calorie intake. However, this heightens activity in our mesocorticolimbic circuit (the reward system in our brain) resulting in us <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18568078/">overeating</a> the foods we’ve been told to avoid. This is because foods that give us pleasure release feel-good chemicals called endorphins and a learning chemical called dopamine, which enable us to remember – and give in to – that feel-good response when we see that food. </p> <p>When we diet, activity in our hypothalamus – the clever part of the brain that regulates emotions and food intake – also reduces, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18568078/">decreasing our control and judgement</a>. It often triggers a psychological response dubbed the “what-the-hell effect” – the vicious cycle we enter when we indulge in something we feel we shouldn’t, feel guilty about it, and then go back for even more.</p> <h2>The take-home message</h2> <p>We are biologically wired to protect our weight set point. Conventional diets, including the latest hype surrounding “intermittent fasting” and “keto”, fail to promote healthy eating and fail to address the weight set point. You’ll eventually regain the weight you lost.</p> <p>Just as the problem is evolutionary, the solution is evolutionary too.</p> <p>Successfully losing weight long-term comes down to: </p> <ol> <li> <p>following evidence-based care from health-care professionals that have studied the science of obesity, not celebrities </p> </li> <li> <p>losing weight in small manageable chunks you can sustain, specifically periods of weight loss, followed by periods of weight maintenance, and so on, until your goal weight is achieved</p> </li> <li> <p>making gradual changes to your lifestyle to ensure you form habits that last a lifetime.</p> </li> </ol> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-the-weight-set-point-and-why-does-it-make-it-so-hard-to-keep-weight-off-195724" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Pink reveals how she teaches her daughter the value of hard work

<p>Pop sensation Pink is teaching her daughter an important lesson on the value of hard work.</p> <p>The singer, who is preparing for her new tour, has revealed her daughter, Willow, 11, is going to work alongside her.</p> <p>Pink spoke on the US morning show <em>Today</em>, saying, "Willow has a job on tour,” adding, “We just had to go over minimum wage and it’s different state to state.”</p> <p>She went on to reveal a cheeky exchange she and her daughter had.</p> <p>“I said it’s about $US22.50 ($A32.80) a show depending how long I go, if I run over. She goes, ‘I’ll take $US20 ($A29.20). It’s easier to do the math.’ I’m like ‘That’s not how you negotiate for yourself.’ I’m like, ‘You’ll take $US25 ($36.47), so it’s easier math.’”</p> <p>Although Pink has an estimated net worth of $200 million USD ($291 million AUD), she believes the value of hard work and knowing your worth should be a priority.</p> <p>Pink is also mum to Jameson, 6, with her husband, Carey Hart, and she teased that her son’s negotiating skills were not quite up to scratch either.</p> <p>“Jameson’s just like, ‘I want a lollipop!’” she joked.</p> <p>The pop sensation’s tour kicks off on June 7 in the UK, starting with her first US show in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 26.</p> <p>Her 11-year-old will be working alongside her mum for the entire tour and is bound to learn many more important life lessons along the way.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Iconic Top Gun and Die Hard actor dies at age 66

<p>Clarence Gilyard, best known for his roll as computer hacker Theo in Die Hard and naval flight officer Marcus “Sundown” Williams in Top Gun, has died at 66 years of age.</p> <p>His death was announced on Monday November 29 in a statement from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he had been working as an associate professor at the College of Fine Arts.</p> <p>"It is with profound sadness that I share this news," Dean Nancy Uscher said in the statement shared on instagram.</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/ClhujkALoIh/?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/ClhujkALoIh/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by UNLV College Of Fine Arts (@unlvfinearts)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"His students were deeply inspired by him, as were all who knew him. He had many extraordinary talents and was extremely well-known in the university through his dedication to teaching and his professional accomplishments.”</p> <p>Heather Addison, UNLV film chair remembered Gilyard as a "beacon of light and strength for everyone around him at UNLV".</p> <p>She added: "Whenever we asked him how he was, he would cheerfully declare that he was 'Blessed!' But we are truly the ones who were blessed to be his colleagues and students for so many years. We love you and will miss you dearly, Professor G!”</p> <p>He landed his first role on the TV show Diff'rent Strokes in 1981 and in 1986, Gilyard made his film debut in Top Gun, in which he played Sundown, one of the elite fighter pilots.</p> <p>Two years later, he was cast as Theo, the computer expert who helps Hans Gruber's terrorist group, in the movie Die Hard.</p> <p>He got his big primetime TV break in 1989, when he landed the role of Conrad McMasters on the NBC legal drama Matlock, starring opposite Andy Griffith. He then portrayed Chuck Norris' crime-fighting partner Jimmy Trivette on Walker, Texas Ranger.</p> <p>Despite having a thriving on-screen career, Gilyard stepped away from acting in 2006 to start teaching at UNLV and directing productions at the university's Nevada Conservatory Theatre.</p> <p>No further details surrounding his death have been made public.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Australia Post announces hard dates for Christmas deliveries

<p dir="ltr">Australia Post has revealed when Aussies should send Christmas gifts to loved ones overseas, warning that it will be another busy holiday season.</p> <p dir="ltr">For cards and gifts travelling by economy air, the postal service said that many destinations require they be sent by November 14, while packages sent through International Standard and Express shipping have some more time.</p> <p dir="ltr">"If posting with International Express, some popular destinations like the USA, the UK, New Zealand and Canada should be sent by 9 December," Australia Post said in a statement.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Recommended last sending dates for posting within Australia will be released in the coming weeks."</p> <p dir="ltr">The deadlines for shipping cover more than 180 international destinations and can be found on the <a href="https://auspost.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australia Post website</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gary Starr, Australia Post’s Executive General Manager, Customer and Commercial, said the organisation had worked closely with international carriers to give Aussies as much notice as possible.</p> <p dir="ltr">"We know our last sending dates provide an important guide for people in the lead up to Christmas and we've been preparing all year for another busy peak season to ensure things run as smoothly as possible," Mr Starr said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"For anyone who wants to send internationally for Christmas this year, we're encouraging them to visit our website and post by the dates advised.</p> <p dir="ltr">"As always, we'll continue to deliver items sent after these dates as quickly as possible but they may not arrive until after Christmas."</p> <p dir="ltr">Australia Post also warned that factors beyond its control, including custom delays and overseas postal disruptions, could delay packages.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile in New Zealand, the national postal service has also announced <a href="https://www.nzpost.co.nz/personal/christmas-sending-dates-2022" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cut-off dates</a> for sending packages for Christmas.</p> <p dir="ltr">Packages and cards sent by economy delivery need to be ready to send by November 23 if they are heading to Australia, November 18 for the South Pacific, UK, North America, and Europe, and by November 14 for the rest of the world.</p> <p dir="ltr">Delivery through a courier and express comes with later deadlines, with cut-off dates of December 6 for everywhere except Australia, the South Pacific, Asia, the UK, Europe and North America.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-aa176340-7fff-83b1-f01a-0ba7e316adec"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

News

Our Partners