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

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

Body

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

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

Travel Trouble

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"It was beautiful": Rare rainbow cloud stuns small farming town

<p>The locals of a small farming town in Western Australia have been delighted with the sighting of a rare rainbow cloud. </p> <p>The colourful weather phenomenon appeared above the town of Goomalling, about 130km northwest of Perth in Western Australia, on Tuesday morning.</p> <p>Jenni Shaw was at her family-owned business when she got a text from a friend instructing her to look up at the sky. </p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">"We all went out the front and had a look and there was some bright, rainbow-type clouds in the sky that we hadn't seen before," she </span>told <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-24/rainbow-cloud-iridescence-irisation-delights-wheatbelt-community/103016928" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ABC</a></em><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">.</span></p> <p>“It was beautiful,” she said.</p> <p>“But we were a bit like ‘why is that like that? Should we still be outside looking or not?’”</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Flang.lefroy.7%2Fposts%2Fpfbid02h2HTyVYSVda8NkewrireTWPS4P6wKTnuJxhBWfkNhbxGn3QzHweELRNFQczM8GsPl&show_text=true&width=500" width="500" height="645" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Ms Shaw said the rainbow-coloured cloud was visible for just a few minutes.</p> <p>"It was not there long, just long enough for us all to get some photos," she said.</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph__3Hrfa" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">Jessica Lingard from the Bureau of Meteorology said rainbow clouds, known as cloud iridescence, form in the same way as rainbows - when sunlight diffracts off water or ice crystals in the sky.</p> <p>"It's quite a rare phenomenon to catch in person," she said.</p> <p>"It's the perfect storm of conditions: the sun's at the right angle, the clouds are not too thin and not too thick that they're being blocked out, and the sunlight has just created this spectacle of coloured light."</p> <div data-component="EmphasisedText"> <p>"It's an absolutely stunning photo."</p> </div> <p>Lucky local residents said it wasn’t the first time they’d seen the special clouds in the area.</p> <p>“I have seen clouds like this a few times in my travels, mostly in the Wheatbelt,” Jill Lefroy wrote on Facebook. </p> <p>“Pretty awesome seeing a rainbow with no rain!”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Is it okay to kiss your pet? The risk of animal-borne diseases is small, but real

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sarah-mclean-1351935">Sarah McLean</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swinburne-university-of-technology-767">Swinburne University of Technology</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/enzo-palombo-249510">Enzo Palombo</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swinburne-university-of-technology-767">Swinburne University of Technology</a></em></p> <p>Our relationship with pets has changed drastically in recent decades. Pet ownership is at an all-time high, with <a href="https://animalmedicinesaustralia.org.au/media-release/more-than-two-thirds-of-australian-households-now-own-a-pet/">a recent survey</a> finding 69% of Australian households have at least one pet. We spend an estimated A$33 billion every year on caring for our fur babies.</p> <p>While owning a pet is linked to numerous <a href="https://www.onehealth.org/blog/10-mental-physical-health-benefits-of-having-pets">mental and physical health benefits</a>, our pets can also harbour infectious diseases that can sometimes be passed on to us. For most people, the risk is low.</p> <p>But some, such as pregnant people and those with weakened immune systems, are at <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/specific-groups/high-risk/index.html">greater risk</a> of getting sick from animals. So, it’s important to know the risks and take necessary precautions to prevent infections.</p> <h2>What diseases can pets carry?</h2> <p>Infectious diseases that move from animals to humans are called zoonotic diseases or <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/onehealth/basics/zoonotic-diseases.html">zoonoses</a>. More than <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3668296/#B18">70 pathogens</a> of companion animals are known to be transmissible to people.</p> <p>Sometimes, a pet that has a zoonotic pathogen may look sick. But often there may be no visible symptoms, making it easier for you to catch it, because you don’t suspect your pet of harbouring germs.</p> <p>Zoonoses can be transmitted directly from pets to humans, such as through contact with saliva, bodily fluids and faeces, or indirectly, such as through contact with contaminated bedding, soil, food or water.</p> <p>Studies suggest <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4500695/">the prevalence of pet-associated zoonoses is low</a>. However, the true number of infections is likely <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/11/3789">underestimated</a> since many zoonoses are not “<a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/notification-of-illness-and-disease">notifiable</a>”, or may have multiple exposure pathways or generic symptoms.</p> <p>Dogs and cats are major reservoirs of zoonotic infections (meaning the pathogens naturally live in their population) caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. <a href="https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/topics/rabies">In endemic regions in Africa and Asia</a>, dogs are the main source of rabies which is transmitted through saliva.</p> <p>Dogs also commonly carry <em>Capnocytophaga</em> bacteria <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/capnocytophaga/index.html">in their mouths and saliva</a>, which can be transmitted to people through close contact or bites. The vast majority of people won’t get sick, but these bacteria can occasionally cause infections in people with weakened immune systems, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/capnocytophaga/signs-symptoms/index.html">resulting</a> in severe illness and sometimes death. Just last week, such a death <a href="https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/tracy-ridout-perth-mum-dies-11-days-after-rare-bacterial-infection-from-minor-dog-bite-c-11748887">was reported in Western Australia</a>.</p> <p>Cat-associated zoonoses include a number of illnesses spread by the faecal-oral route, such as giardiasis, campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis and toxoplasmosis. This means it’s especially important to wash your hands or use gloves whenever handling your cat’s litter tray.</p> <p>Cats can also sometimes transmit infections through bites and scratches, including the aptly named <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/diseases/cat-scratch.html#:%7E:text=Cat%20scratch%20disease%20(CSD)%20is,the%20surface%20of%20the%20skin.">cat scratch disease</a>, which is caused by the bacterium <em>Bartonella henselae</em>.</p> <p>Both dogs and cats are also reservoirs for <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10122942/">methicillin-resistant bacterium <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em></a> (MRSA), with close contact with pets identified as an important risk factor for zoonotic transmission.</p> <h2>Birds, turtles and fish can also transmit disease</h2> <p>But it’s not just dogs and cats that can spread diseases to humans. Pet birds can occasionally transmit <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/atypical/psittacosis/">psittacosis</a>, a bacterial infection which causes pneumonia. Contact with <a href="https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/pet-turtles-source-germs">pet turtles</a> has been linked to <em>Salmonella</em> infections in humans, particularly in young children. Even pet fish have been linked to a <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/fish.html">range of bacterial infections</a> in humans, including vibriosis, mycobacteriosis and salmonellosis.</p> <p>Close contact with animals – and some behaviours in particular – increase the risk of zoonotic transmission. <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19398275/">A study from the Netherlands</a> found half of owners allowed pets to lick their faces, and 18% allowed dogs to share their bed. (Sharing a bed increases the duration of exposure to pathogens carried by pets.) The same study found 45% of cat owners allowed their cat to jump onto the kitchen sink.</p> <p>Kissing pets has also been linked to occasional zoonotic infections in pet owners. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3298380/">In one case</a>, a woman in Japan developed meningitis due to <em>Pasteurella multicoda</em> infection, after regularly kissing her dog’s face. These bacteria are often found in the oral cavities of dogs and cats.</p> <p>Young children are also more likely to engage in behaviours which increase their risk of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/specific-groups/high-risk/children.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fhealthypets%2Fspecific-groups%2Fchildren.html">getting sick</a> from animal-borne diseases – such as putting their hands in their mouth after touching pets. Children are also less likely to wash their hands properly after handling pets.</p> <p>Although anybody who comes into contact with a zoonotic pathogen via their pet can become sick, certain people are more likely to suffer from serious illness. These people include the young, old, pregnant and immunosuppressed.</p> <p>For example, while most people infected with the toxoplasmosis parasite will experience only mild illness, it can be life-threatening or <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/what-are-the-risks-of-toxoplasmosis-during-pregnancy/">cause birth defects in foetuses</a>.</p> <h2>What should I do if I’m worried about catching a disease from my pet?</h2> <p>There are a number of good hygiene and pet husbandry practices that can reduce your risk of becoming sick. These include:</p> <ul> <li>washing your hands after playing with your pet and after handling their bedding, toys, or cleaning up faeces</li> <li>not allowing your pets to lick your face or open wounds</li> <li>supervising young children when they are playing with pets and when washing their hands after playing with pets</li> <li>wearing gloves when changing litter trays or cleaning aquariums</li> <li>wetting bird cage surfaces when cleaning to minimise aerosols</li> <li>keeping pets out of the kitchen (especially cats who can jump onto food preparation surfaces)</li> <li>keeping up to date with preventative veterinary care, including vaccinations and worm and tick treatments</li> <li>seeking veterinary care if you think your pet is unwell.</li> </ul> <p>It is especially important for those who are at a higher risk of illness to take precautions to reduce their exposure to zoonotic pathogens. And if you’re thinking about getting a pet, ask your vet which type of animal would best suit your personal circumstances.<!-- 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/210898/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/sarah-mclean-1351935">Sarah McLean</a>, Lecturer in environmental health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swinburne-university-of-technology-767">Swinburne University of Technology</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/enzo-palombo-249510">Enzo Palombo</a>, Professor of Microbiology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swinburne-university-of-technology-767">Swinburne University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty </em><em>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/is-it-okay-to-kiss-your-pet-the-risk-of-animal-borne-diseases-is-small-but-real-210898">original article</a>.</em></p>

Family & Pets

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

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

Travel Trouble

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Kochie and Karl team up for a new business venture

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

TV

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Try these tricks the next time small talk becomes unbearable

<p><strong>Real talk</strong></p> <p>Bonnie Todd runs 250 food tours a year – a job that puts her in contact with hundreds of new people every week. Food-lovers come to her for an introduction to local tastes and flavours. And a large part of what keeps her guests satisfied, and willing to recommend her business to others, is the personal connection she makes with them.</p> <p>“I try to get past the small talk and general recommendations pretty quickly,” says the 42-year-old. “It’s all about finding common ground within the group, and trying to make it a unique experience. So I’m always asking questions. And when I find that spark of commonality, I dig into it.”</p> <p>The practice is key to Todd’s approach because, unlike many tours, hers require people to sit together sharing food and drinks. When groups don’t gel, or never get past the “Where are you from?” stage, what should be a stimulating experience can turn into an awkward and draining couple of hours.</p> <p>We’ve all been there: trapped in a superficial exchange that bounces aimlessly from one meaningless topic to the next. It can make you never want to step foot into another party again. But don’t despair: there are some tactics that can help you turn boring small talk into an energising conversation.</p> <p><strong>Put yourself out there </strong></p> <p>Improv performer Natalie Metcalfe’s job is to keep a scene going – to create an exchange that’s compelling for both the people involved and for a live audience.</p> <p>“In improv, it’s all about offers,” she says, referring to the act of bringing new information into the dialogue. Through these back-and-forths, the relationship between the characters is established and that kicks things off. “It’s the same thing in a regular conversation. You’re constantly making offers to see if you and the person you’re talking to can connect.”</p> <p>An offer in real life can be as simple as complimenting someone on what they’re wearing, and asking them about it. You can try sharing something you recently learned, or an interest you’ve just developed, creating an opening for the other person to ask you a question. Or, you can describe a relatable problem you’re having – a noisy neighbour, a plant that’s not thriving, a question of etiquette – as a prompt for advice, or some cooperative troubleshooting.</p> <p>One of Todd’s go-to approaches is to share a personal story of her own that relates to the other person’s experience. “If I find out someone has been to a place I’ve travelled, I’ll tell them an anecdote about what I did there, and ask them to share their own story.”</p> <p>Of course, putting yourself out there can sometimes feel scary, even when you’re not on stage. But Misha Glouberman, who runs a course called How to Talk to People About Things, says taking that leap pays off.  “A lot of the time in conversations, there’s something we’re interested in, but there’s a part of us that doesn’t want to take the risk of revealing it because we think it might be boring or inappropriate.” But the result of following those internal cues of fascination has the opposite effect, he says. “People like learning about other people’s interests. So be more open about yours, and a little more curious about theirs as well.”</p> <p><strong>Be inquisitive and listen </strong></p> <p>Radio interviewer Terry Gross once said, that the only icebreaker you’ll ever need is, “Tell me about yourself.” Instead of asking a pointed question like “What do you do?”, this type of open question gives someone a chance to offer up a topic they might be more excited to discuss.</p> <p>“Talking about yourself is really pleasurable. It activates the exact same hormone in your brain as sex,” says Celeste Headlee, the author of We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter. “Another tip you can take from neuroscience is that if you start a conversation by allowing someone to feel good about themselves, then they’ll be more open to new ideas and new thoughts for the rest of the conversation.”</p> <p>Of course, upping your curiosity quotient needs to be paired with actually paying attention to the answer. “Listening is hard for homo sapiens. It’s not something our species does easily,” says Headlee.</p> <p>Indeed, people often start crafting their response before the person they’re talking to has finished speaking. Or they’ll get distracted, thinking about an email they forgot to answer. Since a great conversation is by definition a two-way street, these habits have the effect of ending one before it can even begin. Intentional listening, on the other hand, is a key to an empathetic, engaging dialogue.</p> <p><strong>Use disagreement wisely </strong></p> <p>According to Headlee, one of the other things that gets in the way of a meaningful conversation is the all-too-human need to be right. “A really common mistake is the ‘well, actually’ response,” she says, referring to that deflating moment when a person lets their need to correct you about a small detail you’ve just mentioned get in the way of continuing a story. “Google has made this worse,” she adds. “You’ll say, I went to the hotel with the largest patio in the entire world, and while you’re still talking, the person is already on their phone looking to see if that’s actually true.”</p> <p>But while trivial arguments can be an obstacle to a good conversation, Glouberman points out that differences of opinion can also help propel a chat into richer territory. “We assume that the world is just as we see it, that we see it directly,” he says. “But of course all of psychology and neuroscience tells us that’s not the case.”</p> <p>A respectful disagreement, if the other party is open to it, is a great opportunity to enrich your view of the world by understanding someone else’s.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/uncategorized/try-these-tricks-the-next-time-small-talk-becomes-unbearable" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Relationships

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Coles praised for helping small town through cost of living crisis

<p dir="ltr">Coles has been praised for the innovative way they are helping a small Aussie town to combat the ongoing cost of living crisis. </p> <p dir="ltr">The supermarket giant has started contributing to a community pantry in the coastal town of Ulladulla, 200km south of Sydney, which gives struggling locals basic grocery staples.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Little Free Food Pantry in Ulladulla was set up by local woman Coralie Smith and her mother Melissa, who were on a mission to reduce food waste, while also give back to their community as the cost of living continues to take hold. </p> <p dir="ltr">The motto "take what you need, give what you can" is plastered along the top of the pantry, set up outside the local scout hall, designed for people to help themselves to food to feed their families.</p> <p dir="ltr">Most of the food in the community cupboard has been donated by the local Coles supermarket, which provides a range of baked items, meats and fresh produce daily.</p> <p dir="ltr">Woolworths has also contributed items to the pantry every week, while also being topped up by generous locals. </p> <p dir="ltr">One local woman named Michelle has been using the service for almost three months. </p> <p dir="ltr">Before the pantry was established, Michelle was only able to afford to eat just one meal a day. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I'm working three jobs because of the high interest rates and the cost of living," she told <em>Yahoo News Australia</em>. "When I collected my first hamper all I could do is cry".</p> <p dir="ltr">The first time she was offered food she felt extremely "overwhelmed" but "now I'm definitely eating more, and am able to keep up with my mortgage and bills".</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Facebook / Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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

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

Legal

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

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

Travel Trouble

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

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

Money & Banking

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Four-year-old entrepreneur wins out against council complaints

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

Food & Wine

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

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

News

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Rod Stewart's ultimate surprise for like-minded hobbyists

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

Music

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

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

Money & Banking

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

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

Money & Banking

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Australia’s top towns revealed

<p dir="ltr">A study has compared 752 small Australian towns and crowned the 36 at the top of the pack. </p> <p dir="ltr">The study was <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/australias-best-towns-kiama-margaret-river-shoalhaven-among-the-top-places-to-live/news-story/695405e2e1787d67e64a93495a6cb8e6">published by <em>The Australian</em></a>, and saw demographer Bernard Salt consider criteria such as unemployment, diversity, median income, technical skill, and education across the 752 towns in his mission to declare the best of the best in each Australian state and territory. </p> <p dir="ltr">More specifically, Salt looked at towns that: </p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Earn more than $1,282 per a week household median income</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Less than 5.1 per cent unemployment</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">More than 15 per cent attained university education</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">More than 36 per cent with technical (trade) skill</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">More than 12 per cent workforce owner/manager</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">No less than 14 per cent born overseas</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">At least 17 per cent volunteer</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">At least 14 per cent provide unpaid care e.g., for example to a relative</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">More than 59 per cent have no long-term health condition</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">More than 6.5 hours per a week in unpaid domestic housework</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">Salt’s findings revealed a town in each state and territory that was “drawn from a list of 36 finalists that survive most of the filters”, and ultimately declared to be a step above the rest. </p> <p dir="ltr">For Queensland, Tamborine Mountain came out on top. </p> <p dir="ltr">For the Northern Territory, it was Nhulunbuy. </p> <p dir="ltr">For South Australia, Mount Barker. </p> <p dir="ltr">Western Australia, Dunsborough. </p> <p dir="ltr">Victoria, Bright. </p> <p dir="ltr">Tasmania, Legana. </p> <p dir="ltr">And last but not least, Kiama took the trophy for New South Wales, as well as bragging rights as “the standout overall.” </p> <p dir="ltr">“In the modern era, say the 2020s and beyond, I think that small-town Australia, as well as big-city Australia, needs skills, training, entrepreneurial energy and a measure of diversity to deliver opportunity to residents,” said the founder of The Demographics Group.</p> <p dir="ltr">“What this exercise shows is that across the continent Australians want more or less the same thing when it comes to living in a small town,” Salt went on, “proximity to a capital or major regional city; a tree-change or a sea-change environment; or, better still, all three criteria jammed within a single location offering views and amenity.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“The Australian people have spoken through their collective responses to the census,” he concluded. “Sea-change, tree-change, big-city access and a place of their own within which they can potter about and steadily make improvements, while also volunteering, caring, and making a contribution to the local community. That is the essence of small-town Australia.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And of course if you disagree with the metrics and the logic of how the top towns were selected, then you are free to <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/top-towns">jump on to the website</a>, access the model, switch around the metrics and come up with your own version of Australia’s top towns. Hours of fun for the demographically inclined.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty </em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Small town's Christmas display dubbed the "worst in history"

<p>The Port Macquarie Council have been widely roasted online after the unveiling of their Christmas tree display, which has been dubbed the "worst in history".</p> <p>Families and community members turned out by the hundreds to see NSW Central Coast town light up its Christmas tree last week, which was met with a very mixed reaction. </p> <p>The long-anticipated reveal, which forced onlookers to wait until midnight for the lights to be turned on, was met with a chorus of disappointed sighs as the underwhelming tree was finally illuminated. </p> <p>Families expecting a glowing symbol of Christmas cheer were instead treated to a sight of Christmas gloom with sad looking fairy light strings barely clinging onto the huge pine tree's branches. </p> <p>Port Macquarie Hastings Council took the disappointment in its stride, mocking its own tree with an 'Instagram vs Reality' meme on Facebook.  </p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpmhcouncil%2Fposts%2Fpfbid02tkGEispQKQLt4tsc5X3VP8iUQTyp2AFyMqLc1sQKw2CKZdGxsNHJKfSfCXVywhPVl&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=500" width="500" height="677" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>"What can we say except ... you're welcome," the council wrote on Friday, alongside a smirk face emoji. </p> <p>"With everything our community has been through recently, we know everyone appreciates a good laugh!"</p> <p>"We are glad our very sad Christmas tree could provide that for everyone."</p> <p>"So let's be real. Our poor tree does look like it was decorated by Santa after he's whizzed around the world and had too many eggnogs."</p> <p>The council said its tree decoration was done with "the best of intentions" however "extraordinary winds and rain" had destroyed the lights. </p> <p>"Just like the rest of us - she's battered and bruised, but she's still standing," they said. </p> <p>Just days after the tree lights were turned on, the council confirmed it needed to strip the sad looking tree because it had become a "safety risk" to locals.</p> <p>"We have enjoyed your good humour and appreciation of our abstract piece of art," the council joked.</p> <p>"Unfortunately, the infamous lights will be removed, as they are slipping further down the tree and pose a safety risk and we are concerned if we leave the inflatable baubles up, we may not have any left by Christmas."</p> <p>Port Macquarie Hastings Mayor Peta Pinson later said the council was working hard to install their "original outdoor tree will be installed and working for everyone's enjoyment well before Christmas".</p> <p>"Again, I am so thankful to the community for coming and celebrating. Merry Christmas to our wonderful, witty and resilient community," she said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

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