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It may be macabre, but dark tourism helps us learn from the worst of human history

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dr-neil-robinson-1312179">Dr Neil Robinson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-salford-878">University of Salford</a></em></p> <p>Dark tourism has become a much more well-covered pasttime in recent years, in which a macabre fascination lead tourists to travel to various places not served by Thomas Cook: the sites of battles and genocides, war cemeteries, prisons, and even <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/the-rise-of-dark-tourism/374432/">current warzones such as Syria</a>.</p> <p>The 20th century alone has provided such a <a href="http://www.therichest.com/expensive-lifestyle/location/10-great-places-to-visit-for-dark-tourism/">long list of places</a> at which catastrophes or great loss of life and suffering has occurred. Sites visited range from the spot from which JFK was assassinated, to prisons such as Alcatraz in San Francisco, through to battlefields of the World Wars, or the vestiges of genocides such at Auschwitz in Poland or Tuol Sleng in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but we shouldn’t condemn those for whom this is an interest.</p> <p>Dark tourism appears to be a manifestation of our media-rich society through which information found online may persuade us to see historical sites in person. But its origins can be traced back much further than the fascination with death and disasters of the 19th and 20th century. In the 11th century, people and pilgrims often visited places with religious significance such as Jerusalem, where the location of Christ’s crucifixion is a popular attraction; tourists visited Gettysburg, the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War in 1863; and in more recent centuries, the Grand Tour offered an opportunity for the wealthy to experience Europe, with sites such as the classical ruins of the Colosseum in Rome – which in the name of entertainment saw execution, torture and death – one of the must-see attractions.</p> <p>Today, in parallel with the growth in popularity of dark tourism is the enormous growth of social media and the 24-hour news economy. The ease of access to such blanket coverage through the web, Facebook and Twitter has increased people’s awareness of, and fascination for, these historical sites of war, conflict and catastrophe. For example, the last decade has brought a surge in visitor numbers to <a href="https://theconversation.com/from-fiction-to-gallows-humour-how-chernobyl-survivors-are-still-coping-with-trauma-57923">Chernobyl</a>, where guides take visitors around the abandoned city of Pripyat (radiation levels permitting) which has been deserted since the nuclear power plant explosion on April 26, 1986. The 30th anniversary this year has in itself <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3526271/Chernobyl-tourists-pose-photos-eerie-sites.html">added to interest in visiting</a> the overgrown and crumbling city.</p> <p>As with tourism of any kind, this greater footfall brings benefits. In this case, not just the economic boost but also as a tool of education and even conflict resolution. For example, the <a href="http://www.belfasttours.com/package/belfast-political-mural-tour">taxi tours of Belfast’s murals</a>, which document Northern Ireland’s Troubles, offer visitors a way to understand the history and provide the communities involved a means to reflect and move on from the conflict. This model is <a href="http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=25852">viewed with interest</a> and hope by moderates on both sides of the Arab-Israeli divide searching for a peaceful solution for the long term.</p> <p>The tours of <a href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/916">Robin Island prison</a> in South Africa, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years incarcerated among many others, starkly present how those imprisoned by a corrupt and discriminatory political regime can later engage in peace and reconciliation. The <a href="http://www.bruisedpassports.com/africa/5-reasons-you-must-go-for-a-township-tour-in-south-africa">Soweto township tours</a> in Johannesburg have acted in part as a means through which generations of South Africans can better understand their country’s dark past and help to establish truth and reconciliation for the future.</p> <p>Dark tourism should not in my opinion by viewed as unethical, repugnant or even a self-indulgent activity. Certainly some dark tourists may engage in their pursuits for all the wrong reasons, seeing death and destruction as a commodity to be consumed with little thought for those who caught up in its wake. But others visit such sites to pay their respects, to better understand the magnitude of death and destruction, and to inform the outside world of the details of terrible events – even in some case offering to help. These are positive effects that may come from so much pain and suffering.</p> <p>We should strive to better understand the origins of the terrible events of human history to be more able to prevent us repeating them. In this regard, that more people visit sites associated with dark tourism and learn about them should be seen as a positive.<!-- 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/60966/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/dr-neil-robinson-1312179">Dr Neil Robinson</a>, Lecturer in Business, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-salford-878">University of Salford</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/it-may-be-macabre-but-dark-tourism-helps-us-learn-from-the-worst-of-human-history-60966">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Does screen use really impact our thinking skills? Our analysis suggests it could

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michoel-moshel-1433565">Michoel Moshel</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jennifer-batchelor-1485101">Jennifer Batchelor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joanne-bennett-1485102">Joanne Bennett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/wayne-warburton-402810">Wayne Warburton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p>Screens have become seamlessly integrated into our daily lives, serving as indispensable tools for work, education and leisure. But while they enrich our lives in countless ways, we often fail to consider the potential impact of screen time on our cognitive abilities.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11065-023-09612-4">new meta-analysis</a> of dozens of earlier studies, we’ve found a clear link between disordered screen use and lower cognitive functioning.</p> <p>The findings suggest we should exercise caution before advocating for more screen time, and before introducing screens into even more aspects of daily life.</p> <h2>Young people’s screen time is increasing</h2> <p>In 2020, a UNSW Gonski Institute for Education report <a href="https://www.gie.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/documents/UNSW%20GIE%20GUD%20Phase%201%20Technical%20Report%20MAR20%20v2.pdf">noted a concerning statistic</a>: about 84% of Australian educators believe digital technologies are distracting in a learning environment.</p> <p>And according to the ABC, a recent Beyond Blue <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-18/mental-health-depression-anxiety-support-coming-for-schools/102831464">survey</a> of Australian teachers identified excessive screen time as the second-most significant challenge for young people, just behind mental health issues.</p> <p>Despite mounting concerns, more than half of Australian schools have embraced a “<a href="https://www.linewize.io/anz/blog/the-rise-of-byod-in-australian-schools">bring your own device</a>” policy. Students are spending more time online than <a href="https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/students-computers-and-learning_9789264239555-en#page46">ever before</a> and starting at increasingly younger ages. A 2021 report by <a href="https://www.commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/research/report/8-18-census-integrated-report-final-web_0.pdf">Common Sense Media</a> estimated tweens spend an average of 5 hours and 33 minutes using screen-based entertainment each day, while teenagers devote a whopping 8 hours and 39 minutes.</p> <p>A surge in screen use has led to some individuals, including children, adolescents and adults, developing screen-related addictions. One example is gaming disorder, for which <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0004867420962851">2–3% of people</a> meet the criteria.</p> <h2>What is ‘disordered screen use’?</h2> <p>The impact of screens on our cognitive abilities – that is, our thinking skills such as attention, memory, language and problem-solving – has sparked much debate.</p> <p>On one hand, some researchers and reporters claim screen use can have negative effects, such as <a href="https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-022-12701-3">health problems</a>, shortened attention <a href="https://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/">spans</a> and hindered <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312489265_The_relationship_between_television_exposure_and_children's_cognition_and_behaviour_A_systematic_review">development</a>.</p> <p>On the other, schools are <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/education/tech-takeover-classrooms-crowded-with-digital-devices-20200125-p53ul1.html">increasingly adopting</a> technology to boost student engagement. Tech companies are also marketing their products as tools to help you enhance your problem-solving and memory skills.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11065-023-09612-4">recent study</a> sought to understand the potential cognitive consequences of “disordered screen-related behaviours”. This is a broad category of problematic behaviours that may include screen dependency, and persisting with screen use even when it’s harmful.</p> <p>We conducted a meta-analysis of 34 studies that explored various forms of screen use (including gaming, internet browsing, smartphone use and social media use) and compared the cognitive performance of individuals with disordered screen use to those without it.</p> <p>Our findings paint a concerning picture.</p> <h2>Differences in cognitive function</h2> <p>Across these rigorously peer-reviewed studies, individuals with disordered screen use consistently demonstrated significantly poorer cognitive performance compared to others.</p> <p>The most affected cognitive domain was attention, and specifically sustained attention, which is the ability to maintain focus on an unchanging stimulus for an extended period.</p> <p>The second-most notable difference was in their “executive functioning” – particularly in impulse control, which is the ability to control one’s automatic responses.</p> <p>Interestingly, the type of screen activity didn’t make a difference in the results. The trend also wasn’t confined to children, but was observed across all age groups.</p> <h2>Two ways to interpret the results</h2> <p>Why do people with disordered screen-related behaviours have poorer cognitive functioning?</p> <p>The first explanation is that disordered screen use actually leads to poorer cognitive function, including poorer attention skills (but we’ll need more experimental and longitudinal studies to establish causality).</p> <p>If this is the case, it may be the result of being constantly bombarded by algorithms and features designed to capture our attention. By diverting our focus outward, screen use may weaken one’s intrinsic ability to concentrate over time.</p> <p>Crucially, impaired attention also <a href="https://akjournals.com/view/journals/2006/10/1/article-p77.xml">makes it harder to disengage</a> from addictive behaviours, and would therefore make it harder to recognise when screen use has become a problem.</p> <p>The second explanation is that people who already have poorer cognitive functioning (such as less inhibitory control) are more likely to engage in disordered screen use.</p> <p>This could be a result of the plethora of addictive cues designed to keep us glued to our screens. Being bombarded by these could make it harder to <a href="https://akjournals.com/view/journals/2006/9/4/article-p990.xml">pull the brakes</a> on screen use.</p> <p>Although the literature doesn’t seem to favour this explanation – and does seem to suggest that cognitive functioning is impaired as a result of disordered screen use – it’s still a possibility we can’t rule out.</p> <p>Attention is the bedrock of everyday tasks. People with weakened attention may struggle to keep up in less stimulating environments, such as a static workplace or classroom. They may find themselves turning to a screen as a result.</p> <p>Similarly, people with less inhibitory control would also find it more challenging to moderate their screen use. This could be what drives them towards problematic screen-related behaviours in the first place.</p> <h2>Who should shoulder the responsibility?</h2> <p>Research indicates people with impaired cognitive functioning usually aren’t as well equipped to moderate their own screen time.</p> <p>Many users with disordered screen use are <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563220302326?casa_token=BQv_N_MFffYAAAAA:AsGkAfdwXjCZHJB463G40Mx-ckS2Q1c8jSOn2SWR_9iW64eWaQsru1IJAZBDCgSPXwhZ3Qwl">young</a>, with mainly males engaging in internet gaming and mainly females engaging in social media use. Neurodiverse people are <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/9/5587">also at greater risk</a>.</p> <p>Tech companies are driven by the goal of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/18/netflix-competitor-sleep-uber-facebook">capturing our attention</a>. For instance, Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings acknowledged the company’s <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/18/netflix-competitor-sleep-uber-facebook">most formidable competitor was sleep</a>.</p> <p>At the same time, researchers find themselves struggling to keep up with the pace of technological innovation. A potential path forward is to encourage open-access data policies from tech companies, so researchers can delve deeper into the study of screen use and its effect on individuals. <!-- 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/216828/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/michoel-moshel-1433565">Michoel Moshel</a>, PhD/Masters Clinical Neuropsychology Candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jennifer-batchelor-1485101">Jennifer Batchelor</a>, Associate Professor, School of Psychological Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joanne-bennett-1485102">Joanne Bennett</a>, Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/wayne-warburton-402810">Wayne Warburton</a>, Associate Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie 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/does-screen-use-really-impact-our-thinking-skills-our-analysis-suggests-it-could-216828">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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Wellness is not women’s friend. It’s a distraction from what really ails us

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kate-seers-1131296">Kate Seers</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-sturt-university-849">Charles Sturt University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-hogg-321332">Rachel Hogg</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-sturt-university-849">Charles Sturt University</a></em></p> <p>Wellness is mainly marketed to women. We’re encouraged to eat clean, take <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYqaatWPxvy/">personal responsibility</a> for our well-being, happiness and life. These are the hallmarks of a strong, independent woman in 2022.</p> <p>But on the eve of International Women’s Day, let’s look closer at this <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-neoliberalism-colonised-feminism-and-what-you-can-do-about-it-94856">neoliberal feminist</a> notion of wellness and personal responsibility – the idea women’s health and well-being depends on our individual choices.</p> <p>We argue wellness is not concerned with actual well-being, whatever wellness “guru” and businesswoman Gwyneth Paltrow <a href="https://goop.com/wellness/">suggests</a>, or influencers say on Instagram.</p> <p>Wellness is an industry. It’s also a seductive distraction from what’s really impacting women’s lives. It glosses over the structural issues undermining women’s well-being. These issues cannot be fixed by drinking a turmeric latte or #livingyourbestlife.</p> <h2>What is wellness?</h2> <p>Wellness <a href="https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/press-room/statistics-and-facts/">is an</a> unregulated US$4.4 trillion global industry due to reach almost $7 trillion by 2025. It promotes self-help, self-care, fitness, nutrition and spiritual practice. It <a href="https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/what-is-wellness/">encourages</a> good choices, intentions and actions.</p> <p>Wellness is alluring because it feels empowering. Women are left with a sense of control over their lives. It is particularly alluring in times of great uncertainty and limited personal control. These might be during a relationship break up, when facing financial instability, workplace discrimination or a global pandemic.</p> <p>But wellness is not all it seems.</p> <h2>Wellness blames women</h2> <p>Wellness implies women are flawed and need to be fixed. It demands women resolve their psychological distress, improve their lives and <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1360780418769673?journalCode=sroa">bounce back from adversity</a>, regardless of personal circumstances.</p> <p>Self-responsibility, self-empowerment and self-optimisation underpin how women are expected to think and behave.</p> <p>As such, wellness <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CZs2iIxrSwb/">patronises women</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CT3bw_Yhsp6/">micro-manages their daily schedules</a> with journaling, skin care routines, 30-day challenges, meditations, burning candles, yoga and lemon water.</p> <p>Wellness encourages women to improve their appearance through diet and exercise, manage <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CZ7IO7qJHZ_/">their surroundings</a>, <a href="https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5489-female-leadership-advice.html">performance at work</a> and their capacity to <a href="https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/working-women-balance">juggle the elusive work-life balance</a> as well as <a href="https://medium.com/authority-magazine/having-a-positive-mental-attitude-and-thinking-process-is-a-successful-key-to-healthy-wellbeing-ae11e303969c">their emotional responses</a> <a href="https://theconversation.com/planning-stress-and-worry-put-the-mental-load-on-mothers-will-2022-be-the-year-they-share-the-burden-172599">to these pressures</a>. They do this with support from costly life coaches, psychotherapists and self-help guides.</p> <p>Wellness demands women <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CaFc2o7OHSf/">focus on their body</a>, with one’s body a measure of their commitment to the task of wellness. Yet this ignores how much these choices and actions cost.</p> <p>Newsreader and journalist Tracey Spicer <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CaDh28nBp4k/">says</a> she has spent more than A$100,000 over the past 35 years for her hair to “look acceptable” at work.</p> <p>Wellness keeps women <a href="https://www.hercampus.com/school/bu/the-male-gazes-effect-from-beauty-ideals-to-mental-health/">focused on their appearance</a> and keeps them spending.</p> <p>It’s also <a href="https://medium.com/artfullyautistic/the-dark-reality-of-wellness-culture-and-ableism-307307fcdafb">ableist</a>, <a href="https://www.byrdie.com/wellness-industry-whitewashing-5074880">racist</a>, <a href="https://msmagazine.com/2020/07/16/tools-of-the-patriarchy-diet-culture-and-how-we-all-perpetuate-the-stigma/">sexist</a>, <a href="https://www.self.com/topic/anti-aging">ageist</a> and <a href="https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/422517/the-pursuit-of-wellness-wellness-is-for-the-wealthy">classist</a>. It’s aimed at an ideal of young women, thin, white, middle-class and able-bodied.</p> <h2>But we can’t live up to these ideals</h2> <p>Wellness assumes women have equal access to time, energy and money to meet these ideals. If you don’t, “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/may/08/the-self-help-cult-of-resilience-teaches-australians-nothing">you’re just not trying hard enough</a>”.</p> <p>Wellness also <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1360780418769673?journalCode=sroa">implores women</a> to be “adaptable and positive”.</p> <p>If an individual’s #positivevibes and wellness are seen as <a href="https://ideas.ted.com/why-we-should-say-no-to-positivity-and-yes-to-our-negative-emotions/">morally good</a>, then it becomes morally necessary for women to engage in behaviours framed as “investments” or “self-care”.</p> <p>For those who do not achieve self-optimisation (hint: most of us) this is a personal, shameful failing.</p> <h2>Wellness distracts us</h2> <p>When women believe they are to blame for their circumstances, it hides structural and cultural inequities. Rather than questioning the culture that marginalises women and produces feelings of doubt and inadequacy, wellness provides solutions in the form of superficial empowerment, confidence and resilience.</p> <p>Women don’t need wellness. They are unsafe.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ourwatch.org.au/quick-facts/">Women are</a> <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/crime-and-justice/personal-safety-australia/latest-release">more likely</a> to be murdered by a current or former intimate partner, with reports of the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-governments-can-do-about-the-increase-in-family-violence-due-to-coronavirus-135674">pandemic increasing</a> the risk and severity of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/dec/01/the-worst-year-domestic-violence-soars-in-australia-during-covid-19">domestic violence</a>.</p> <p>Women are more likely to be employed in unstable <a href="https://lighthouse.mq.edu.au/article/april-2020/Pandemics-economic-blow-hits-women-hard">casualised labour, and experience economic hardship and poverty</a>. Women are also bearing the brunt <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/womens-work/">of the economic fallout from COVID</a>. Women are more likely to be juggling a career with <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n1972">unpaid domestic duties</a> and more likely <a href="https://www.mercyfoundation.com.au/our-focus/ending-homelessness/older-women-and-homelessness/">to be homeless</a> as they near retirement age.</p> <p>In their book <a href="https://www.dukeupress.edu/confidence-culture#:%7E:text=They%20argue%20that%20while%20confidence,responsible%20for%20their%20own%20conditions.">Confidence Culture</a> UK scholars Shani Orgad and Rosalind Gill argue hashtags such as #loveyourbody and #believeinyourself imply psychological blocks, rather than entrenched social injustices, are what hold women back.</p> <h2>What we should be doing instead</h2> <p>Wellness, with its self-help rhetoric, <a href="http://www.consultmcgregor.com/documents/research/neoliberalism_and_health_care.pdf">absolves the government</a> of responsibility to provide transformative and effectual action that ensures women are safe, delivered justice, and treated with respect and dignity.</p> <p>Structural inequity was not created by an individual, and it will not be solved by an individual.</p> <p>So this International Women’s Day, try to resist the neoliberal requirement to take personal responsibility for your wellness. Lobby governments to address structural inequities instead.</p> <p><a href="https://www.mindful.org/why-women-should-embrace-their-anger/">Follow your anger</a>, not your bliss, call out injustices when you can. And in the words of sexual assault survivor and advocate Grace Tame, “make some noise”.<!-- 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/kate-seers-1131296">Kate Seers</a>, PhD Candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-sturt-university-849">Charles Sturt University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-hogg-321332">Rachel Hogg</a>, Lecturer in Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-sturt-university-849">Charles Sturt 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/wellness-is-not-womens-friend-its-a-distraction-from-what-really-ails-us-177446">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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Ignite your inspiration with multi-use makeup that won’t break the bank

<p dir="ltr">As cost of living pressures continue to tug at our wallets, we’re all looking for things we can cut back on.</p> <p dir="ltr">For many people, indulgent beauty practices are the first to go when trying to save money, with many people dialling back their hair appointments and only getting their nails done as a one off treat. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, when looking to cut out non-essentials to ease the strain on your bank account, you don’t have to give up everyday makeup and beauty products that make you feel good. </p> <p dir="ltr">Instead, it’s about doing some research and buying smart, branching out to try new things, and even finding new holy grail products that work in multiple ways. </p> <p dir="ltr">Thankfully, <a href="https://www.thekindcollectiveaustralia.com/">The KIND Collective</a>’s new High Achievers range is here to save the day. </p> <p dir="ltr">With a multitude of products for lips, eyes, cheeks and skin for both everyday wear and bold evening glam, this new collection welcomes playfulness, self-expression, sustainability, and affordability to suit any generation.</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/C7TWh-OtgqL/?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/C7TWh-OtgqL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by The KIND Collective (@thekindcollectiveaustralia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">From lip oils and skin tints, to 3-in-1 complexion trios and eyeshadow sticks, The KIND Collective have something for every occasion. </p> <p dir="ltr">For Beauty lovers looking to lean into the growing trend of incorporating multi-use products into your everyday routine, with this new range of multi-use, easy to apply products, KIND is putting the emphasis on quality over quantity.</p> <p dir="ltr">Alongside the plus of being a multi-use range, KIND has listened to the masses, with 74% of beauty consumers agreeing that makeup and beauty products from affordable brands work just as well as products from premium brands, with nothing in the new range exceeding a $30 price point. </p> <p dir="ltr">This female-founded business is on a mission to add consciously driven, multi-purpose cosmetic products to everyone’s beauty repertoire, with a reasonable budget in mind. </p> <p dir="ltr">The KIND Collective is available online or in-store at <a href="https://www.bigw.com.au/brands/kind-collective">Big W</a> and <a href="https://www.priceline.com.au/brand/kind-collective">Priceline</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p></p>

Beauty & Style

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Aussies hit with "hidden fees" for using common payment method

<p>Millions of Aussies have copped up to $1 billion in "hidden fees" for choosing to use one common payment method. </p> <p>Many are unaware about the secret extra charges that come with using the tap-and-go payment method, as millions of customers use it as the preferred way to pay and go. </p> <p>However, according to financial counsellor Scott Pape, also known as The Barefoot Investor, while tapping your card may be easier, it might not be great for your bank account.</p> <p>“What most people don’t know is that, when they tap, their bank generally defaults that payment through Visa or MasterCard, who pays them a fee — instead of defaulting that payment through the much cheaper bank-owned EFTPOS,” Pape said in his column for the <em><a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/barefoot-investor/the-common-smartphone-app-thats-ripping-you-off/news-story/0b71afa29c86faf2b938c44f93bbc8d6?amp" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">Daily Telegraph</a></em>.</p> <p>While some businesses choose to absorb the cost, others pass it on to the customer as a surcharge, as Pape says, “Talk about a rort.”</p> <p>According to the Royal Bank of Australia (RBA), Visa and Mastercard are generally more expensive for merchants than the EFTPOS network.</p> <p>Payments through EFTPOS are generally about 0.3 per cent of the transaction value, while Debit Mastercard and Visa Debit may cost many some people about 0.5 per cent.</p> <p>Mastercard and Visa credit could cost customers more than 0.75 per cent of the transaction, while American Express card payments are even more, charging merchants 1 to 1.5 per cent.</p> <p>Thankfully, according to Pape, there are ways to avoid paying the extra fees. </p> <p>If your bank card is attached to your smartphone, you can change the default payment setting.</p> <p>“On an iPhone, open ‘Settings’, go to ‘Wallet & Apple Pay’, then tap your debit card,” Pape said.</p> <p>“Then look for ‘Payment Option’. It will generally have ‘MasterCard’ or ‘Visa’ preselected, but instead you should select ‘EFTPOS SAV’.”</p> <p>This is not allowed on all cards, however, and those who use Android will need to check with their bank if a possible solution exists.</p> <div> </div> <p>The other way to avoid paying the surcharges is to just start inserting or swiping your card again.</p> <p>“I know it’s annoying, but if you swipe and insert your card you can choose ‘cheque’ or ‘savings’ and it’ll go through the EFTPOS system, which at the bigger retailers means you’ll be less likely to be charged,” Pape said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Michael Mosley used science communication to advance health and wellbeing. We can learn a lot from his approach

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718">Lauren Ball</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kirsten-adlard-684475">Kirsten Adlard</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p>Overnight, we learned of the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-06-09/michael-mosley-body-found-greek-island-clare-bailey-mosley/103957382">tragic passing</a> of Michael Mosley, who went missing last week while on holiday on the Greek island of Symi.</p> <p>The British celebrity doctor was a household name in many countries, including Australia. Mosley was well known for his television shows, documentaries, books and columns on healthy eating, weight management, physical activity and sleep.</p> <p>During the days he was missing and once his death was confirmed, media outlets have acknowledged Mosley’s <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/michael-mosley-tv-doctor-death-b2558717.html">career achievements</a>. He is being celebrated for his connection to diverse public audiences and his unrelenting focus on science as the best guide to our daily habits.</p> <h2>From medicine to the media</h2> <p>Mosley was born in India <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c8770jyz6vvo">in 1957</a> and was sent to England at age seven to attend boarding school. He later studied philosophy, politics and economics at the <a href="https://michaelmosley.co.uk/biog/">University of Oxford</a>. After a short stint in investment banking, Mosley opted to train in medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London.</p> <p>Rather than forging a career in clinical practice, <a href="https://michaelmosley.co.uk/biog/">Mosley</a> started working at the BBC in 1985 as a trainee assistant producer. In the decades that followed, Mosley continued to work with the BBC as a producer and presenter.</p> <p>Mosley became a popular public figure by applying his medical training to journalism to examine a breadth of health and wellbeing topics. In 1995, following his documentary on <em><a href="https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/baf970949e3a46a992ae52420395a7c2">Helicobacter pylori</a></em>, a bacterium that causes ulcers in the stomach, the British Medical Association named him <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/profiles/2kczjZKp8sGSDxSxKYzxsyr/michael-mosley">medical journalist of the year</a>.</p> <p>His other television work on diet, weight management, exercise and sleep earned him <a href="https://www.emmys.com/bios/michael-mosley">Emmy</a>, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0608839/awards/">BAFTA</a> (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts), and <a href="https://rts.org.uk/tags/michael-mosley">Royal Television Society</a> <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/profiles/2kczjZKp8sGSDxSxKYzxsyr/michael-mosley">award nominations</a>.</p> <p>Over the past decade, Mosley published <a href="https://www.amazon.com.au/Fast-Diet-Original-Revised-Research/dp/1780722370/ref=sr_1_6?dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.75_akcxo8tanyLrD4CVMwd1lCTliHyckSLPU2W7K4HmdPqRlVqvMbKWKkJ6CPCsrFsAw4Vfw5SWOYkl_Y8ah4yNCSjQksdT3ByCSHhiycNB9AB5h6vVUqB99okxDDWPaXUCwD-CZMzHZDvAjuAotTN">several books</a> on <a href="https://www.fishpond.com.au/Books/Fastexercise-Michael-Mosley-Peta-Bee-With/9781476759982?utm_source=googleps&amp;utm_medium=ps&amp;utm_campaign=AU&amp;gad_source=1&amp;gclid=CjwKCAjw34qzBhBmEiwAOUQcF3wd7d1bj8KMFeEtKS6ZU7py5rRzjiycZhcsMbSEQ9lXhjEBcY4GRxoCwgIQAvD_BwE">exercise</a>, <a href="https://www.amazon.com.au/8-Week-Blood-Sugar-Diet-Recipe/dp/1925456595/ref=sr_1_7?dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.75_akcxo8tanyLrD4CVMwd1lCTliHyckSLPU2W7K4HmdPqRlVqvMbKWKkJ6CPCsrFsAw4Vfw5SWOYkl_Y8ah4yNCSjQksdT3ByCSHhiycNB9AB5h6vVUqB99okxDDWPaXUCwD-CZMzHZDvAjuAotTNxxkW3">healthy eating</a>, <a href="https://www.amazon.com.au/Fast-800-Australian-New-Zealand/dp/B07MPRQWJP/ref=sr_1_8?dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.75_akcxo8tanyLrD4CVMwd1lCTliHyckSLPU2W7K4HmdPqRlVqvMbKWKkJ6CPCsrFsAw4Vfw5SWOYkl_Y8ah4yNCSjQksdT3ByCSHhiycNB9AB5h6vVUqB99okxDDWPaXUCwD-CZMzHZDvAjuAotTNxxkW">intermittent fasting</a>, <a href="https://www.amazon.com.au/Weeks-Better-Sleep-life-changing-improved/dp/1761425927/ref=sr_1_1?dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.75_akcxo8tanyLrD4CVMwd1lCTliHyckSLPU2W7K4HmdPqRlVqvMbKWKkJ6CPCsrFsAw4Vfw5SWOYkl_Y8ah4yNCSjQksdT3ByCSHhiycNB9AB5h6vVUqB99okxDDWPaXUCwD-CZMzHZDvAj">sleep</a> and <a href="https://www.amazon.com.au/Just-One-Thing-Changes-Transform/dp/B0BJVRP94X/ref=sr_1_9?dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.75_akcxo8tanyLrD4CVMwd1lCTliHyckSLPU2W7K4HmdPqRlVqvMbKWKkJ6CPCsrFsAw4Vfw5SWOYkl_Y8ah4yNCSjQksdT3ByCSHhiycNB9AB5h6vVUqB99okxDDWPaXUCwD-CZMzHZDvAjuAotTNxxk">behaviour change</a>. He sold millions of copies of his books around the world, including at least <a href="https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/p/mosley-1mil-sales">one million</a> in Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>Alongside his wife, Dr Clare Bailey Mosley, he recently embarked on a <a href="https://michaelmosley.co.uk/live/">live theatre show tour</a>, yet another vehicle to bring his key messages to audiences.</p> <h2>A trusted voice</h2> <p>Mosley became a trusted voice for health and wellbeing throughout his journalistic career. His television program <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04j9gny">Trust Me, I’m a Doctor</a> drew on his medical qualifications to discuss health and wellbeing credibly on a public platform. His medical training also inferred credibility in examining the scientific literature that underpins the topics he was communicating.</p> <p>At the same time, Mosley used simple terminology that captured the attention of diverse audiences.</p> <p>For many of Mosley’s outputs, he used himself as an example. For instance, in his <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09by3yy/episodes/downloads">podcast series</a> Just One Thing and <a href="https://www.amazon.com.au/Just-One-Thing-Changes-Transform/dp/B0BJVRP94X/ref=sr_1_9?dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.75_akcxo8tanyLrD4CVMwd1lCTliHyckSLPU2W7K4HmdPqRlVqvMbKWKkJ6CPCsrFsAw4Vfw5SWOYkl_Y8ah4yNCSjQksdT3ByCSHhiycNB9AB5h6vVUqB99okxDDWPaXUCwD-CZMzHZDvAjuAotTNxxk">companion book</a>, Mosley self-tested a range of evidence-based behavioural habits (while also interviewing subject-matter experts), covering topics such as eating slowly, yoga, listening to music, cooking, gardening and drinking green tea.</p> <p>His focus on intermittent fasting and high-intensity training was fuelled by his <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-06-08/how-dr-michael-mosley-popularised-intermittent-fasting/103952408">diagnosis of type 2 diabetes</a>, and his work on sleep health was based on his experience <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/sleep-revolution-michael-mosley/okmv5o7qe">with chronic insomnia</a>.</p> <p>At the most extreme end of the spectrum, Mosley <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-25968755">infested himself with tapeworms</a> in the pursuit of exploring their effects on the human body.</p> <p>By using himself as a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/article/2024/jun/09/michael-mosley-favourite-health-tip-slow-deep-breathing">human guinea pig</a>, he fostered a connection with his audience, showing the <a href="https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-personal-touch-using-anecdotes-to-hook-a-reader">power</a> of personal anecdotes.</p> <h2>Some controversies along the way</h2> <p>Despite his notable career achievements, Mosley received ongoing criticisms about his work due to differing opinions within the medical and scientific communities.</p> <p>One key concern was around his promotion of potentially risky diets such as intermittent fasting and other restrictive diets, including the 5:2 diet and low-carb diets. While <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9946909/">some evidence</a> supports intermittent fasting as a way to improve metabolic health and enable weight management, Mosley was criticised for not fully acknowledging the potential risks of these diets, such as a potential to lead to <a href="https://clindiabetesendo.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40842-023-00152-7">disordered eating</a> habits.</p> <p>His promotion of low-carb diets also raised concerns that his work added to a diet-focused <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/lose-a-stone-in-21-days-channel-4-criticism-eating-disorder-food-relationship-beat-a9656531.html">culture war</a>, ultimately to the detriment of many people’s relationship with food and their bodies.</p> <p>More broadly, in his efforts to make scientific concepts simple and accessible to the general public, Mosley was sometimes criticised for overgeneralising science. The concern was that he didn’t properly discuss the nuance and tension inherent in scientific evidence, thereby providing an incomplete synthesis of the evidence.</p> <p>For example, Mosley conceptualised the <a href="https://thebloodsugardiet.com">blood sugar diet</a> (a low-carbohydrate Mediterranean-style diet), which was <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/health-68452019">criticised</a> for lacking a strong grounding in scientific evidence. Similarly, <a href="https://www.thetimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/article/smoke-and-mirrors-the-truth-about-vaping-nmpf3przr">associating his name with e-cigarettes</a> may have drawn unhelpful attention to the topic, irrespective of the underlying details.</p> <h2>What can we learn from Mosley?</h2> <p>Overall, Mosley has been objectively successful in communicating scientific concepts to large, engaged audiences. Mosley showed us that people want to consume scientific information, whether through the news media, social media, podcasts or books.</p> <p>His passion and persistence in using science to promote health and wellbeing have likely supported public health efforts across the globe.<!-- 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/231934/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/lauren-ball-14718"><em>Lauren Ball</em></a><em>, Professor of Community Health and Wellbeing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kirsten-adlard-684475">Kirsten Adlard</a>, Supervisor of Engagement, Communication, and Outreach, Centre for Community Health and Wellbeing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Ken McKay/ITV/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/michael-mosley-used-science-communication-to-advance-health-and-wellbeing-we-can-learn-a-lot-from-his-approach-231934">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Caring

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Super funds are using ‘nudges’ to help you make financial decisions. How do they work?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/fernanda-mata-1533222">Fernanda Mata</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/breanna-wright-267597">Breanna Wright</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liam-smith-5152">Liam Smith</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p>Late last year the federal government announced <a href="https://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/stephen-jones-2022/media-releases/government-unveils-comprehensive-financial-advice">measures</a> to make it easier for Australians to access financial advice.</p> <p>As part of this, the government wants super funds to use “nudges” to get members to engage more with their retirement investments and superannuation, especially when they’re starting work and approaching retirement.</p> <p>While the legislation containing the changes is still in the consultation phase, super funds are <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/super-funds-spend-big-ahead-of-advice-reforms-20240418-p5fkx6">upskilling staff</a> and making other changes to improve customer service or risk a government crackdown.</p> <p>Telling funds to use <a href="https://www.behaviourworksaustralia.org/blog/nudging-what-is-it-and-how-can-we-use-it-forgood">nudge theory</a> to advise on super comes as more than five million Australians are heading towards retirement.</p> <h2>What is nudge theory?</h2> <p>Nudging is used to encourage people to pick the “better” option, without taking away their freedom to choose differently.</p> <p>For example, sending regular reminders to members about the benefits of voluntary contributions can get them to increase the amount they put in. This nudge makes it easier for them to contribute more – the better option – while still allowing them to choose not to.</p> <p>Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones <a href="https://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/stephen-jones-2022/media-releases/government-unveils-comprehensive-financial-advice">explained</a> the government’s changes were needed because so-called “fin-fluencers” were providing unregulated financial advice on social media platforms to Australians unable to pay an adviser.</p> <h2>Helping people protect their interests</h2> <p>There are three ways, supported by research, nudges can help Australians engage with their super.</p> <p><strong>1. Future self visualisation</strong></p> <p>This involves getting young people to think about their <a href="https://www.halhershfield.com/considering-the-future-self">future selves</a> and visualise their life in retirement. This can help them to recognise the long-term benefits of getting actively involved with their super.</p> <p>Showing fund members how they might look when older by using an ageing filter software, for example, can make this visualisation more real for them and <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/23794607231190607">enhance understanding of their future selves, leading to higher engagement</a>.</p> <p><strong>2. Simplification</strong></p> <p>We all know financial products and superannuation can be complicated. The information and choices presented can lead to <a href="https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/choice-overload-bias">decision paralysis</a>, causing people to delay or opt out of making a decision. By simplifying the process, funds can motivate people to get more engaged with their super.</p> <p>To get people to make voluntary contributions, for example, it might be more effective for funds to recommend <a href="https://siepr.stanford.edu/news/how-simple-nudge-can-motivate-workers-save-retirement">a specific percentage of their salary</a> rather than offering several options. Deciding whether to boost contributions by an extra 3%, 4% or 5% can be overwhelming, especially for people with poor <a href="https://theconversation.com/are-you-financially-literate-here-are-7-signs-youre-on-the-right-track-202331">financial literacy</a>.</p> <p><strong>3. Language and framing</strong></p> <p>The way options are framed and the language super funds use can significantly impact member engagement.</p> <p>Australians may be more likely to make higher voluntary contributions if they are asked how much they want <a href="https://www.bi.team/press-releases/the-small-nudges-that-could-make-young-people-142000-better-off-in-retirement/">to “invest” in their super </a> instead of how much they want to “contribute” or “add”.</p> <p>The word “invest” encourages people to think about future benefits, motivating them to make higher contributions.</p> <p>How options are labelled can also have an impact on <a href="https://www.bi.team/press-releases/the-small-nudges-that-could-make-young-people-142000-better-off-in-retirement/">member engagement</a> and decision making.</p> <p>For example, highlighting concrete benefits of different voluntary payments, such as “a 4% contribution keeps you above the poverty line”, and “a 10% contribution allows for a comfortable retirement according to Australian standards” can increase how much people are willing to contribute.</p> <h2>Ethical use of nudges</h2> <p>The <a href="https://www.superreview.com.au/news/superannuation/industry-body-backs-super-fund-nudges-though-parameters-need-be-set">Financial Services Council</a> backs the government on getting super funds to nudge members about contributions and investments but says there are limits.</p> <p>Parameters around nudging should be set […] to ensure that the language is appropriate and does not ultimately amount to defaulting.</p> <p>For example, letting a customer know that as they approach retirement, they need to make a decision about what retirement product they wish to utilise would be an acceptable nudge, while contacting a customer to let them know that they will be placed in a product when they retire, would not necessarily be acceptable.</p> <p>The council emphasises the importance of super funds recognising <a href="https://www.superreview.com.au/news/superannuation/industry-body-backs-super-fund-nudges-though-parameters-need-be-set">people’s autonomy</a> when delivering a “soft” or “hard” nudge.</p> <p>Soft nudges are gentle prompts and reminders designed to guide people to make good choices without pressuring them, such as sending an email reminder to review their investment options. Hard nudges are more direct in their guidance. These might include recommending specific investment options.</p> <p>Despite these differences, <a href="https://www.behaviourworksaustralia.org/blog/can-we-have-a-quiet-word-about-behavioural-science">ethical use of nudges</a> should encourage engagement while respecting people’s autonomy by making it easy for them to opt out.</p> <p>The use of nudges presents a valuable opportunity to increase superannuation fund members’ engagement.</p> <p>Whether through future self visualisation, simplification or language framing, ethical nudges can motivate members to take action, leading to greater confidence in navigating the retirement transition and achieving retirement goals.<!-- 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/230404/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/fernanda-mata-1533222">Fernanda Mata</a>, Research Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/breanna-wright-267597">Breanna Wright</a>, Research fellow, BehaviourWorks Australia, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liam-smith-5152">Liam Smith</a>, Director, BehaviourWorks, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, <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/super-funds-are-using-nudges-to-help-you-make-financial-decisions-how-do-they-work-230404">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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I can’t afford olive oil. What else can I use?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718">Lauren Ball</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-burch-438717">Emily Burch</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross University</a></em></p> <p>If you buy your olive oil in bulk, you’ve likely been in for a shock in recent weeks. Major supermarkets have been selling olive oil for up to A$65 for a four-litre tin, and up to $26 for a 750 millilitre bottle.</p> <p>We’ve been hearing about the health benefits of olive oil for years. And many of us are adding it to salads, or baking and frying with it.</p> <p>But during a cost-of-living crisis, these high prices can put olive oil out of reach.</p> <p>Let’s take a look at why olive oil is in demand, why it’s so expensive right now, and what to do until prices come down.</p> <h2>Remind me, why is olive oil so good for you?</h2> <p>Including olive oil in your diet can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and improve heart health through more favourable <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/6/1548">blood pressure</a>, <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/9/5356">inflammation</a> and <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0939475319302662">cholesterol levels</a>.</p> <p>This is largely because olive oil is high in <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/4/12/1989">monounsaturated fatty acids</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8300823/">polyphenols</a> (antioxidants).</p> <p>Some researchers have suggested you can get these benefits from consuming up to <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2022.1041203/full">20 grams a day</a>. That’s equivalent to about five teaspoons of olive oil.</p> <h2>Why is olive oil so expensive right now?</h2> <p>A European heatwave and drought have <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2024-04-27/olive-oil-alternatives-what-you-can-use-in-cooking/103761718">limited</a> Spanish and Italian producers’ ability to supply olive oil to international markets, including Australia.</p> <p>This has been coupled with an unusually cold and short growing season for Australian <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2023-08-02/record-olive-oil-price-set-to-increase-again/102675452">olive oil suppliers</a>.</p> <p>The lower-than-usual production and supply of olive oil, together with heightened demand from shoppers, means prices have gone up.</p> <h2>How can I make my olive oil go further?</h2> <p>Many households buy olive oil in large quantities because it is cheaper per litre. So, if you have some still in stock, you can make it go further by:</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>storing it correctly</strong> – make sure the lid is on tightly and it’s kept in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cabinet. If stored this way, olive oil can typically last <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6218649/">12–18 months</a></p> </li> <li> <p><strong>using a spray</strong> – sprays distribute oil more evenly than pourers, using less olive oil overall. You could buy a spray bottle to fill from a large tin, as needed</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>straining or freezing it</strong> – if you have leftover olive oil after frying, strain it and reuse it for other fried dishes. You could also freeze this used oil in an airtight container, then thaw and fry with it later, without affecting the oil’s <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00217-022-04078-9">taste and other characteristics</a>. But for dressings, only use fresh oil.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>I’ve run out of olive oil. What else can I use?</h2> <p>Here are some healthy and cheaper alternatives to olive oil:</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>canola oil</strong> is a good alternative for frying. It’s relatively <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/canola-oil">low</a> in saturated fat so is generally considered healthy. Like olive oil, it is high in <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23731447/">healthy monounsaturated fats</a>. Cost? Up to $6 for a 750mL bottle (home brand is about half the price)</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>sunflower oil</strong> is a great alternative to use on salads or for frying. It has a mild flavour that does not overwhelm other ingredients. Some <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/conjugated-linoleic-acid-versus-higholeic-acid-sunflower-oil-effects-on-energy-metabolism-glucose-tolerance-blood-lipids-appetite-and-body-composition-in-regularly-exercising-individuals/6C035B5C6E9FD7C9D6D7F806ADA56983">studies</a> suggest using sunflower oil may help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and raising HDL (good) cholesterol. Cost? Up to $6.50 for a 750mL bottle (again, home brand is about half the price)</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>sesame oil</strong> has a nutty flavour. It’s good for Asian dressings, and frying. Light sesame oil is typically used as a neutral cooking oil, while the toasted type is used to flavour sauces. Sesame oil is <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.6428">high in</a> antioxidants and has some anti-inflammatory properties. Sesame oil is generally sold in smaller bottles than canola or sunflower oil. Cost? Up to $5 for a 150mL bottle.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>How can I use less oil, generally?</h2> <p>Using less oil in your cooking could keep your meals healthy. Here are some alternatives and cooking techniques:</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>use alternatives for baking</strong> – unless you are making an olive oil cake, if your recipe calls for a large quantity of oil, try using an alternative such as apple sauce, Greek yoghurt or mashed banana</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>use non-stick cookware</strong> – using high-quality, non-stick pots and pans reduces the need for oil when cooking, or means you don’t need oil at all</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>steam instead</strong> – steam vegetables, fish and poultry to retain nutrients and moisture without adding oil</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>bake or roast</strong> – potatoes, vegetables or chicken can be baked or roasted rather than fried. You can still achieve crispy textures without needing excessive oil</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>grill</strong> – the natural fats in meat and vegetables can help keep ingredients moist, without using oil</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>use stock</strong> – instead of sautéing vegetables in oil, try using vegetable broth or stock to add flavour</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>try vinegar or citrus</strong> – use vinegar or citrus juice (such as lemon or lime) to add flavour to salads, marinades and sauces without relying on oil</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>use natural moisture</strong> – use the natural moisture in ingredients such as tomatoes, onions and mushrooms to cook dishes without adding extra oil. They release moisture as they cook, helping to prevent sticking.<!-- 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/228788/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> </ul> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718">Lauren Ball</a>, Professor of Community Health and Wellbeing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-burch-438717">Emily Burch</a>, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross 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/i-cant-afford-olive-oil-what-else-can-i-use-228788">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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Doctor beats cancer using his own treatment

<p>Australian doctor Richard Scolyer has been declared cancer free, thanks to a first-of-its-kind treatment he helped to develop.</p> <p>The 56-year-old professor, who has been recognised around for the world for his pioneering melanoma research, was diagnosed with aglioblastoma, a terminal kind of brain tumour, after suffering a seizure last June.</p> <p>After receiving his devastating diagnosis, the doctor agreed to be a "guinea pig" to undergo a world-first cancer treatment that he had a hand in developing. </p> <p>Now the world-leading pathologist and Australian of the Year has given a remarkable update, stating he is cancer free.</p> <p>“I had brain #MRI scan last Thursday looking for recurrent #glioblastoma (&/or treatment complications). I found out yesterday that there is still no sign of recurrence. I couldn’t be happier!!!!!” the professor shared on X, formerly known as Twitter.</p> <p>Before Dr Scolyer was diagnosed with cancer, he was fit and active, and had been hiking mountains in Poland with his wife.</p> <p>“I felt normal. I didn’t have any symptoms at all,” he told <em>A Current Affair</em> earlier this year.</p> <p>Just days after, he suffered a devastating seizure, and when he returned to Australia, underwent a series of tests which resulted in a diagnosis with glioblastoma – an aggressive and terminal form of brain cancer that would give him a average of 14 months to live. </p> <p>Teaming up with his friend and medical oncologist Georgina Long, Scolyer decided to undergo the new treatment, which came with a long list of risks. </p> <p>“No one knew what it was going to do, people were nervous because it could actually cause my life to end more quickly. But when you’re faced with certain death, it’s a no-brainer for me,” said Professor Scolyer, who also hoped the treatment would make a difference for other cancer patients.</p> <p>Dr Scolyer also underwent surgery to remove as much of his tumour as possible, and in April, he updated his social media followers to share that10 months after his diagnosis, his tumour had not returned. </p> <p>Speaking to ABC’s <em>Australian Story</em> at the time, Professor Scolyer said he was “blown away” by the results.</p> <p>“This is not what I expected. The average time to recurrence for the nasty type of brain cancer I’ve got is six months. So, to be out this far is amazing,” he said. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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15,000 squares, 500 hours, 19 months: how I used embroidery to make sense of Australia’s catastrophic fires

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tracey-clement-1518268">Tracey Clement</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p>I slip the needle through a small loop of black thread, pull it tight and snip. Done. I have just tied off the very last stitch on an embroidered scroll that has taken me more than 500 hours across 19 months to complete.</p> <p>All of my artwork is extremely labour-intensive. But I have to admit, this is a bit excessive, even for me. It’s not surprising that I have been asked more than once “why not just outsource the labour?” and even “what is the point?”</p> <p>I always sigh and think enviously of plumbers. I am 100% sure hardworking tradies are never asked to justify the point of <em>their</em> work.</p> <p>Why do I work so hard? There is no one easy answer, it’s different every time. The labour intensity of my processes adds time into the equation and this both carries meaning and can change the meaning of the work as it goes on (and on and on). I always learn something unexpected.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.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/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A finger points to a knot on the back of a messy abstract embroidery done in black, red, orange and yellow" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The last stitch!</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Tracey Clement</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>I put my little scissors down and, before busting out the bubbles, I snap a picture for Instagram because #selfpromotion, but also because this is news, albeit of a very slow-breaking kind. This is what I’ve learned after stitching for seemingly endless hours: while no news may be good news, “slow news” is even better.</p> <p>My embroidered scroll is titled Impossible Numbers. It started as my attempt to memorialise <a href="https://wwf.org.au/what-we-do/australian-bushfires/in-depth-australian-bushfires">the estimated 3,000,000,000 non-human lives lost</a> in the devastating bushfires of 2019–20, a number impossible to actually comprehend.</p> <h2>Doomscrolling an emergency</h2> <p>During that long and awful summer Sydney was often shrouded in an eerie orange haze. You could smell smoke. Ash fell. But, like many Australians, I experienced the worst of it by <a href="https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/doomscrolling">doomscrolling</a> fast news.</p> <p>I was both horrified and fascinated by images of fires so huge and hot they generated their own weather, by pictures of houses reduced to smoking skeletal outlines that somehow remained standing, by headlines comparing the fires to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/31/mallacoota-fire-mayhem-armageddon-bushfires-rage-victoria-east-gippsland">armageddon</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/oct/30/australia-must-prepare-for-future-shaped-by-extreme-climate-bushfire-royal-commission-report-warns">the apocalypse</a>.</p> <p>This hyperbolic language implies we are locked in a war of good versus evil. Even headlines in the vein of “Firefighters battle blazes” pit us (people) against them (the forces of nature). And in the heat of the moment the language of war feels right. <a href="https://traceyclement.com/2020/04/21/apocalypse-now">I’ve succumbed to it myself</a>. But it is dangerous. This language reinforces the idea we can dominate nature; it frames the fires as a conflict that we can end by winning.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.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/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=1432&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=1432&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=1432&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A hand holds a phone taking a picture of a long abstract embroidery in black, red, orange and yellow." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Viewing the world through the phone.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Tracey Clement</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>I will admit watching a goat-toting woman <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-03/scott-morrison-got-bushfire-welcome-he-deserved-says-liberal-mp/11838476">berate a sitting prime minister</a> left me with a short-lived, but mildly satisfying, feeling of shared righteous indignation. But mostly doomscrolling just fuelled my sorrow and left me feeling impotent as, inevitably, the fast news cycled on to the next crisis (and the next, and the next).</p> <h2>Slowing it down</h2> <p>In October 2022, I finally stopped trying to process the bushfires, and all their terrifying implications, through the fast-news language of war. I picked up a needle instead.</p> <p>Of course 3,000,000,000 stitches would be too many, even for me, so I decided to stitch a grid of some 15,000 squares, which I filled with innumerable stitches – a nod to the endless stream of pixels that usually deliver our news.</p> <p>I started wanting to honour the 3 billion dead, that impossible number, but after months of stitching I realised I was “writing” a kind of slow-news story. It may sound ridiculous, but this tactic has been used before. The <a href="https://www.bayeuxmuseum.com/en/the-bayeux-tapestry">Bayeux Tapestry</a> is a slow-news story that documents the Norman conquest of England through embroidery. It took years to stitch, and some 950 years later it is still in circulation.</p> <p>As an alternative to doomscrolling easily digestible fast-news stories of good triumphing (or not) over evil, I have created an actual fabric scroll which depicts a stylised firestorm building in intensity until it becomes all-consuming.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.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/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=799&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=799&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=799&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1004&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1004&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1004&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A middle-aged white woman peeks out from behind a very long abstract embroidery in black, red, orange and yellow." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The artist with Impossible Numbers.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Tracey Clement</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Despite mimicking pixels, Impossible Numbers is resolutely handmade. It is too messy, too crude, to be anything else. It is bleedingly obvious (and there was blood) the will of a person is inextricably stitched into this image of devastating fire. Human labour is literally entangled in this artwork; it shows us as part of the picture, part of nature. And this is good news</p> <p>Impossible Numbers doesn’t have a victorious ending, or any ending at all. The scroll is not fully unrolled. There is no end in sight: the story isn’t over, it’s ongoing.</p> <p>In this way it points to the future; a future in which we are not fighting nature. And this is good news too.</p> <p>If you don’t have a spare 500 hours to process the news into slow news, don’t worry. By the time I finally tied my last knot, I found I had transformed my fear and rage into something tangible, something both magnificent and beautiful (if I do say so myself), no longer about me.</p> <p>It is now a slow-news story that is no longer about a particular event; something everyone can share. This is why I do the work.</p> <p><em>Impossible Numbers is on display as part of <a href="https://www.casulapowerhouse.com/prizes/the-blake-art-prize">The Blake Prize</a> at the Casula Powerhouse, Sydney, until July 7.</em></p> <hr /> <p><em>This article is part of <a href="https://theconversation.com/au/topics/making-art-work-126611">Making Art Work</a>, our series on what inspires artists and the process of their work.<!-- 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/227907/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 --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tracey-clement-1518268">Tracey Clement</a>, Lecturer in Visual Art and McGlade Gallery Director, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </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/15-000-squares-500-hours-19-months-how-i-used-embroidery-to-make-sense-of-australias-catastrophic-fires-227907">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Art

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Everything you need to know about tipping in the US

<p>There are few social customs in the US more confusing to travellers than tipping.</p> <p>To most Americans, gratuities are normal, like adding sales tax at the register. To foreign visitors, though, the very idea can induce anxiety or panic.</p> <p>We're notoriously poor tippers. Partly this is accidental ignorance, but partly it is self-righteous rejection of an institution many of us see as unfair. I once had a meal in New York with a woman from Brisbane who refused to tip "on principle." I nodded in agreement ... and then tipped for both of us.</p> <p>The truth is, federal minimum wage for adults in the US is just US$7.25 an hour. In industries where tipping is routine, employers are legally allowed to pay wages as low as US$2.13 an hour.</p> <p>So while travellers may stage a quiet rebellion, refusing to tip, the bereaved party is never going to be the restaurant owners (who earns their profit through the itemised bill), but the poor waiters.</p> <p>Until the US government raises minimum wages to Australian levels (something that will probably never happen), tipping is here to stay. Which means travellers need to accept it, then learn the rules.</p> <p>First rule: After clearing immigration get your hands on a stack of "singles" (US$1 bills). You're going to need them.</p> <p><strong>Getting around</strong></p> <p>In theory, tips should only go to people who are helpful; the more helpful, the more bountiful their reward. In reality, tips are par for the course, and to "stiff" somebody is tantamount to slapping them in the face.</p> <p>If a airport porter helps you with your bags, give them US$1-2 per bag. If they meet you at the gate with a wheelchair, give them US$3-5. </p> <p>For most travellers, the first real test comes with transports away from the airport. If you're lucky enough to have a hotel worker collect you from Arrivals, give them US$10-15 for the effort.</p> <p>If you take a taxi, a little more thought will be required. Many taxis now have seat-back displays that offer "default tipping" amounts at the end of a journey: in New York, 20, 25, and 30 per cent. You should only really tip 30 per cent if the taxi turns out to be the Batmobile, getting you to your destination in record time. Even 20 per cent can sometimes feels a little high. Tipping is subjective: I often manually override the default, leaving 15-20 per cent, or a few extra dollars if I'm paying in cash.</p> <p>If you hire a car and take advantage of valet (all but mandatory in Los Angeles), be prepared to tip the worker US$3-5 upon pick-up, depending on how ritzy the establishment is. A quick rule of thumb: more ritz equals more tip. </p> <p><strong>Hotels</strong></p> <p>If you arrive at the hotel and somebody opens the door for you, that's on the house. If they carry your bags, that is not on the house. Give them US$2-3 a bag.</p> <p>If the hotel has a concierge, their friendliness isn't contingent on your generosity. But if they perform a service for you - book a trip, hire a car, charter a private jet to the Bahamas - acknowledge this effort with US$10-20 at the end of your stay, presented with a handshake.</p> <p>One case where tipping can have a direct impact on the quality of service you receive is housekeeping. Each morning, leave US$2-5 on your pillow with a thank you note. This ensures different cleaners get their due, and it also means cleaners will be extra diligent for the rest of your stay. If you think this is a little rich, keep in mind that these people are picking up your dirty towels, so spare change for a cup of coffee is the least you can do.  </p> <p>One point of confusion with hotel tipping is the in-room dining. Some hotels include a default tip on their dining bills; some include a "service charge," which goes to the hotel, and should not be treated as a tip. If there's no obvious tip included on the bill, slip the server 15-20 per cent when they knock on your door.</p> <p><strong>Dining and drinking</strong></p> <p>Nobody can force you to tip in a restaurant, though they can try to counteract your miserliness by stating on the menu that tips are automatically added to the final charge. This is increasingly common in areas catering to large numbers of foreign travellers; it's also pretty standard when your table has more than six people. </p> <p>If tips have been added by the time you come to hand over your card, no further gratuity is needed. If no tip has been included, you might need to leave some money on the table. How much exactly depends on what kind of table it is.</p> <p>If it is a fast food table, no tip. If it is a table at a restaurant ranging from modest diner to upmarket eatery, 15-20 per cent for the waiter is standard (err on the high side in major cities like New York and San Francisco). If you leave less than 15 per cent, staff will assume you weren't happy with their service.</p> <p>If you leave two pennies on top of the bill - a code - they will know you were very unhappy, and feel bad even as they silently loathe you for being a Scrooge. It is almost never okay to withhold a tip; if you're considering doing that, you should also be considering complaining to the manager.  </p> <p>If it is a very fancy restaurant, perhaps one with Michelin stars, prepare to hand over 25 per cent of the bill (before tax) to the waiter, who will divide it up among his or her support staff. You should also tip the sommelier if they suggest wine, and perhaps the maitre'd, if they gave you a fabulous table.     </p> <p>Always, without exception, tip a bartender a dollar for every drink; bigger tips can mean stronger second cocktails in my experience.</p> <p>As for coffee shops, despite the increasing prevalence of tip jars, and "suggested tips" when paying with a card, this is cheekiness and should only be taken seriously if the barista goes out of their way, like the man who once drew Darth Vader in my cappuccino crema.</p> <p><strong>Everything else</strong></p> <p>This guide covers the most common situations a traveller will have to contend when in the US, though the list is not exhaustive.</p> <p>For example, do you tip a massage therapist? Yes, 10-20 per cent. A hairdresser? Same. Tour guide or hiking leader? 15-20 per cent of the total charge, depending on their performance.</p> <p>That Elvis impersonator who officiated your wedding in a Las Vegas chapel? Same.</p> <p>Tip anyone, in fact, that provides you with a service: 15 per cent is a good default to keep in mind.</p> <p>Just remember, nobody is affronted by the offer of a gratuity, so you shouldn't feel bashful about giving one.</p> <p><em>Written by Lance Richardson. First appeared on <a href="http://Stuff.co.nz" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

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A tax on sugary drinks can make us healthier. It’s time for Australia to introduce one

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-breadon-1348098">Peter Breadon</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-geraghty-1530733">Jessica Geraghty</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168"><em>Grattan Institute</em></a></em></p> <p>Sugary drinks cause weight gain and <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41574-021-00627-6">increase the risk</a> of a range of diseases, including diabetes.</p> <p>The <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2792842">evidence shows</a> that well-designed taxes can reduce sugary drink sales, cause people to choose healthier options and get manufacturers to reduce the sugar in their drinks. And although these taxes haven’t been around long, there are already signs that they are making people healthier.</p> <p>It’s time for Australia to catch up to the rest of the world and introduce a tax on sugary drinks. As our new Grattan Institute <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/sickly-sweet/">report</a> shows, doing so could mean the average Australian drinks almost 700 grams less sugar each year.</p> <h2>Sugary drinks are making us sick</h2> <p>The share of adults in Australia who are obese has tripled since 1980, from <a href="https://theconversation.com/mapping-australias-collective-weight-gain-7816">10%</a> to more than <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/waist-circumference-and-bmi/latest-release">30%</a>, and diabetes is our <a href="https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/about-diabetes/diabetes-in-australia/">fastest-growing</a> chronic condition. The costs for the health system and economy are measured in the billions of dollars each year. But the biggest costs are borne by individuals and their families in the form of illness, suffering and early death.</p> <p>Sugary drinks are a big part of the problem. The more of them we drink, the greater our risk of <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41574-021-00627-6">gaining weight</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2963518/">developing type 2 diabetes</a>, and suffering <a href="https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article/31/1/122/5896049?login=false">poor oral health</a>.</p> <p>These drinks have no real nutrients, but they do have a lot of sugar. The average Australian consumes <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/apparent-consumption-selected-foodstuffs-australia/latest-release">1.3</a> times the maximum recommended amount of sugar each day. Sugary drinks are responsible for more than one-quarter of our daily sugar intake, more than any other major type of food.</p> <p>You might be shocked by how much sugar you’re drinking. Many 375ml cans of soft drink contain eight to 12 teaspoons of sugar, nearly the entire daily recommended limit for an adult. Many 600ml bottles blow our entire daily sugar budget, and then some.</p> <p>The picture is even worse for disadvantaged Australians, who are more likely to have <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/diabetes/latest-release">diabetes</a> and <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/waist-circumference-and-bmi/latest-release">obesity</a>, and who also consume the most sugary drinks.</p> <h2>Sugary drink taxes work</h2> <p>Fortunately, there’s a proven way to reduce the damage sugary drinks cause.</p> <p>More than <a href="https://ssbtax.worldbank.org/">100 countries</a> have a sugary drinks tax, covering most of the world’s population. <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2792842">Research</a> shows these taxes lead to higher prices and fewer purchases.</p> <p>Some taxes are specifically designed to encourage manufacturers to change their recipes and cut the sugar in their drinks. Under these “tiered taxes”, there is no tax on drinks with a small amount of sugar, but the tax steps up two or three times as the amount of sugar rises. That gives manufacturers a strong incentive to add less sugar, so they reduce their exposure to the tax or avoid paying it altogether.</p> <p>This is the best result from a sugary drinks tax. It means drinks get healthier, while the tax is kept to a minimum.</p> <p>In countries with tiered taxes, manufacturers have slashed the sugar in their drinks. In the United Kingdom, the share of products above the tax threshold <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003025">decreased dramatically</a>. In 2015, more than half (52%) of products in the UK were above the tax threshold of 5 grams of sugar per 100ml. Four years later, when the tax was in place, that share had plunged to 15%. The number of products with the most sugar – more than 8 grams per 100ml – declined the most, falling from 38% to just 7%.</p> <p>The Australian drinks market today looks similar to the UK’s before the tax was introduced.</p> <p>Health benefits take longer to appear, but there are already promising signs that the taxes are working. Obesity among primary school-age girls has fallen in <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1004160">the UK</a> and <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2786784">Mexico</a>.</p> <p>Oral health has also improved, with studies reporting fewer children going to hospital to get their teeth removed in <a href="https://nutrition.bmj.com/content/6/2/243">the UK</a>, and reduced dental decay <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33853058/">in Mexico</a> and <a href="https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(23)00069-7/abstract">Philadelphia</a>.</p> <p>One <a href="https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(23)00158-7/fulltext">study from the United States</a> found big reductions in gestational diabetes in cities with a sugary drinks tax.</p> <h2>The tax Australia should introduce</h2> <p>Like successful taxes overseas, Australia should introduce a sugary drink tax that targets drinks with the most sugar:</p> <ul> <li>drinks with 8 grams or more of sugar per 100ml should face a $0.60 per litre tax</li> <li>drinks with 5–8 grams should be taxed at $0.40 per litre</li> <li>drinks with less than 5 grams of sugar should be tax-free.</li> </ul> <p>This means a 250ml Coke, which has nearly 11 grams of sugar per 100ml, would cost $0.15 more. But of course consumers could avoid the tax by choosing a sugar-free soft drink, or a bottle of water.</p> <p>Grattan Institute <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/sickly-sweet/">modelling</a> shows that under this tiered tax, Australians would drink about 275 million litres fewer sugary drinks each year, or the volume of 110 Olympic swimming pools.</p> <p>The tax is about health, but government budgets also benefit. If it was introduced today, it would raise about half a billion dollars in the first year.</p> <p>Vested interests such as the beverages industry have fiercely resisted sugary drink taxes around the world, issuing disingenuous warnings about the risks to poor people, the sugar industry and drinks manufacturers.</p> <p>But our new report shows sugary drink taxes have been introduced smoothly overseas, and none of these concerns should hold Australia back.</p> <p>We certainly can’t rely on industry pledges to voluntarily reduce sugar. They have been <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/trends-in-sugar-content-of-nonalcoholic-beverages-in-australia-between-2015-and-2019-during-the-operation-of-a-voluntary-industry-pledge-to-reduce-sugar-content/EE662DE7552670ED532F6650C9D56939">weak</a> and misleading, and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/apr/10/sugar-increase-in-fanta-and-sprite-prompts-calls-for-new-tax-on-australia-food-and-drinks-industry">failed to stick</a>.</p> <p>It will take many policies and interventions to turn back the tide of obesity and chronic disease in Australia, but a sugary drinks tax should be part of the solution. It’s a policy that works, it’s easy to implement, and most Australians <a href="https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/6/e027962">support it</a>.</p> <p>The federal government should show it’s serious about tackling Australia’s biggest health problems and take this small step towards a healthier future.<!-- 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/228906/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/peter-breadon-1348098">Peter Breadon</a>, Program Director, Health and Aged Care, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-geraghty-1530733">Jessica Geraghty</a>, Senior Associate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</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/a-tax-on-sugary-drinks-can-make-us-healthier-its-time-for-australia-to-introduce-one-228906">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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"Stop killing us": Carrie Bickmore's emotional on-air plea

<p>Carrie Bickmore has shared her emotional plea to the Australian government to put a stop to violence against women, with a powerful letter that she read on air during her radio show <em>Carrie &amp; Tommy</em>. </p> <p>She asked co-host Tommy Little to read out the letter she had written about the issue, in hopes that "it might mean more people will listen or it might just give a different perspective on what it feels like to be a woman in this country at the moment." </p> <p>Little said he would happily stand by her side and began to read the letter to listeners. </p> <p>“It’s taken me days to work out what to say about the crisis that our country is in at the moment," the letter began.</p> <p>"Not because I don’t have things to say about the abhorrent amount of women dying every week in our country at the hands of a man, because I no longer know what to say because it feels like we are yelling into the abyss. </p> <p>"We are exhausted."</p> <p>She then shared the collective experience women share where they have to  watch their every move from where to run to what clothes to wear in order to feel safe in the community, while being on constant guard from men that may pose a threat. </p> <p>“No, not all men are monsters, but we live in fear of the ones that are,</p> <p>“We change our behaviour to account for the bad ones, not the good ones because the risk is too high for us not to.</p> <p>“To the good men out there, do something more. Just not killing us is not enough. Do something.”</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/reel/C6a0vDBSnlm/?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/reel/C6a0vDBSnlm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Carrie and Tommy (@carrietommyshow)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Bickmore then pointed out that if men were killed by terrorists or a ground of male cyclists were run down on the road in Australia, “laws would be drawn up overnight to stop it from happening again”, but she said that nothing has been done to help women in equally violent situations. </p> <p>“What we are asking for is not too much. We are simply asking to have the same basic right as you. The right to live, to be safe,’” her co-star read out while holding back tears. </p> <p>“‘To the men who want control, the men who can’t handle rejection, the men who think the law doesn’t apply to them, to the men who think they can intimidate, manipulate, coerce, to the men who can’t regulate their emotions, can’t act with respect, your time is up.’</p> <p>“To the PM, do something. We shouldn’t have to march to draw attention to his issue. You know what the issue is. Please do something more and now.</p> <p>"Governments stop building another freeway for a moment. Build a safer future for our daughters.</p> <p>"This is not political, this is not a matter of opinion. The facts speaks for themselves. Every four days a woman in Australia is violently killed.’”</p> <p>She then urged for increased funding for safe houses, frontline centres and support services, and pleaded for the government to listen.</p> <p>“If you think women are becoming shrill, think again. If you think we are being dramatic, think again. If you think we are sensationalising the issue, think again.</p> <p>"We are scared and we are asking, pleading for help. Do something and stop killing us.”</p> <p>Bickmore's plea comes just days after thousands of people attended rallies across Australia over the weekend calling out the government for their lack of action when it comes to violence against women. </p> <p><em>Image: Carrie &amp; Tommy/ news.com.au</em></p>

Caring

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Stamp duty is holding us back from moving homes – we’ve worked out how much

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-garvin-1453835">Nick Garvin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p>If just one state of Australia, New South Wales, scrapped its stamp duty on real-estate transactions, about 100,000 more Australians would move homes each year, according to our <a href="https://e61.in/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Stamp-duty-effects-on-purchases-and-moves.pdf">best estimates</a>.</p> <p>Stamp duty is an unquestioned part of buying a home in Australia – you put your details in an online mortgage calculator, and stamp duty is automatically deducted from the amount you have to contribute.</p> <p>It’s easy to overlook how much more affordable a home would be without it.</p> <p>That means it’s also easy to overlook how much more Australians would buy and move if stamp duty wasn’t there.</p> <p>The 2010 Henry Tax Review found stamp duty was <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-10/afts_final_report_part_2_vol_1_consolidated.pdf">inequitable</a>. It taxes most the people who most need to or want to move.</p> <p>The review reported: "Ideally, there would be no role for any stamp duties, including conveyancing stamp duties, in a modern Australian tax system. Recognising the revenue needs of the States, the removal of stamp duty should be achieved through a switch to more efficient taxes, such as those levied on broad consumption or land bases."</p> <p>But does stamp duty actually stop anyone moving? It’s a claim more often made than assessed, which is what our team at the <a href="https://e61.in/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Stamp-duty-effects-on-purchases-and-moves.pdf">e61 Institute</a> set out to do.</p> <p>We used real-estate transaction data and a natural experiment.</p> <h2>What happened when Queensland hiked stamp duty</h2> <p>In 2011, Queensland hiked stamp duty for most buyers by removing some concessions for owner-occupiers at short notice.</p> <p>For owner-occupiers it increased stamp duty by about one percentage point, lifting the average rate from 1.26% of the purchase price to 2.27%.</p> <p>What we found gives us the best estimate to date of what stamp duty does to home purchases.</p> <p>A one percentage point increase in stamp duty causes the number of home purchases to decline by 7.2%.</p> <p>The number of moves (changes of address) falls by about as much.</p> <p>The effect appears to be indiscriminate. Purchases of houses fell about as much as purchases of apartments, and purchases in cities fell about as much as purchases in regions.</p> <p>Moves between suburbs and moves interstate dropped by similar rates.</p> <p>With NSW stamp duty currently averaging about <a href="https://conveyancing.com.au/need-to-know/stamp-duty-nsw">3.5%</a> of the purchase price, our estimates suggest there would be about 25% more purchases and moves by home owners if it were scrapped completely. That’s 100,000 moves.</p> <p>Victoria’s higher rate of stamp duty, about <a href="https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/rates-taxes-duties-and-levies/general-land-transfer-duty-property-current-rates">4.2%</a>, means if it was scrapped there would be about 30% more purchases. That’s another 90,000 moves.</p> <h2>Even low headline rates have big effects</h2> <p>The big effect from small-looking headline rates ought not to be surprising.</p> <p>When someone buys a home, they typically front up much less cash than the purchase price. While stamp duty seems low as a percentage of the purchase price, it is high as a percentage of the cash the buyer needs to find.</p> <p>Here’s an example. If stamp duty is 4% of the purchase price, and a purchaser pays $800,000 for a property with a mortgage deposit of $160,000, the $32,000 stamp duty adds 20%, not 4%, to what’s needed.</p> <p>If the deposit takes five years to save, stamp duty makes it six.</p> <p>A similar thing happens when an owner-occupier changes address. If the buyer sells a fully owned home for $700,000 and buys a new home for $800,000, the upgrade ought to cost them $100,000. A 4% stamp duty lifts that to $132,000.</p> <p>Averaged across all Australian cities, stamp duty costs about <a href="https://e61.in/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Stepped-on-by-Stamp-Duty.pdf">five months</a> of after-tax earnings. In Sydney and Melbourne, it’s six.</p> <h2>Stamp duty has bracket creep</h2> <p>This cost has steadily climbed from around <a href="https://e61.in/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Stepped-on-by-Stamp-Duty.pdf">six weeks</a> of total earnings in the 1990s. It has happened because home prices have climbed faster than incomes and because stamp duty has brackets, meaning more buyers have been pushed into higher ones.</p> <p>Replacing the stamp duty revenue that states have come to rely on would not be easy, but a switch would almost certainly help the economy function better.</p> <p>The more that people are able to move, the more they will move to jobs to which they are better suited, boosting productivity.</p> <p>The more that people downsize when they want to, the more housing will be made available for others.</p> <p>Our findings suggest the costs are far from trivial, making a switch away from stamp duty worthwhile, even if it is disruptive and takes time.<!-- 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/225773/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/nick-garvin-1453835">Nick Garvin</a>, Adjunct Fellow, Department of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie 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/stamp-duty-is-holding-us-back-from-moving-homes-weve-worked-out-how-much-225773">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Drugs like Ozempic won’t ‘cure’ obesity but they might make us more fat-phobic

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emma-beckett-22673">Emma Beckett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Many have <a href="https://www.economist.com/leaders/2023/03/02/new-drugs-could-spell-an-end-to-the-worlds-obesity-epidemic">declared</a> drugs like Ozempic could “end obesity” by reducing the appetite and waistlines of millions of people around the world.</p> <p>When we look past the hype, this isn’t just untrue – it can also be harmful. The focus on weight, as opposed to health, is a feature of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277539521001217">diet culture</a>. This frames the pursuit of thinness as more important than other aspects of physical and cultural wellbeing.</p> <p>The Ozempic buzz isn’t just rooted in health and medicine but plays into ideas of <a href="https://butterfly.org.au/weight-bias-fatphobia-diet-culture/#:%7E:text=Weight%20bias%2C%20sometimes%20also%20called,or%20being%20around%20fat%20people.">fat stigma and fat phobia</a>. This can perpetuate fears of fatness and fat people, and the behaviours that <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/S12916-018-1116-5">harm people who live in larger bodies</a>.</p> <h2>Not the first ‘miracle’ weight-loss drug</h2> <p>This isn’t the first time we have heard that weight-loss drugs will change the world. Ozempic and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551568/">its family</a> of GLP-1-mimicking drugs are the <a href="https://theconversation.com/ozempic-is-in-the-spotlight-but-its-just-the-latest-in-a-long-and-strange-history-of-weight-loss-drugs-209324">latest in a long line of weight loss drugs</a>. Each looked promising at the time. But none have lived up to the hype in the long term. Some have even been withdrawn from sale due to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5126837/">severe side effects</a>.</p> <p>Science does improve <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247(20)30028-8/fulltext">incrementally</a>, but diet culture also keeps us on a cycle of hope for the next <a href="https://sahrc.org/2022/04/diet-culture-a-brief-history/">miracle cure</a>. So drugs like Ozempic might not deliver the results individuals expect, continuing the cycle of hope and shame.</p> <h2>Ozempic doesn’t work the same for everyone</h2> <p>When we talk about the results of studies using Ozempic, we often <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3719041/">focus on the average</a> (also known as the mean) results or the maximum (or peak) results. So, studies might <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9486455/">show</a> those using the drug lost an average of 10.9% of their body weight, but some lost more than 20% and others less than 5%</p> <p>What we don’t talk about as much is that responses are variable. Some people are “<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212877820301769">non-responders</a>”. This means not everyone loses as much weight as the average, and some don’t lose weight at all. For some people, the side-effects will outweigh the benefits.</p> <p>When people are on drugs like Ozempic, their blood sugar is better controlled by enhancing the release of insulin and reducing the levels of another hormone called glucagon.</p> <p>But there is greater variability in the amount of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212877820301769#bib88">weight lost</a> than the variability in blood sugar control. It isn’t clear why, but is likely due to differences in genetics and lifestyles, and weight being more complex to regulate.</p> <h2>Treatment needs to be ongoing. What will this mean?</h2> <p>When weight-loss drugs do work, they are only effective while they’re being taken. This means that to keep the weight off people need to keep taking them long term. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9542252/">One study found</a> an average weight loss of more than 17% after a year on Ozempic became an average net weight loss of 5.6% more than two years after stopping treatment.</p> <p>Short-term side effects of drugs like Ozempic include dizziness, nausea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal upsets. But because these are new drugs, we simply don’t have data to tell us if side effects will increase as people take them for longer periods.</p> <p>Nor do we know if <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/why-weight-loss-drugs-stop-working-how-to-break-past-ozempic-plateau#:%7E:text=A%20lifetime%20commitment%20to%20Ozempic&amp;text=By%20these%20standards%2C%20such%20drugs,long%2Dterm%20risk%20is%20unknown.">effectiveness will be reduced</a> in the long term. This is called <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/drug-tolerance#:%7E:text=A%20condition%20that%20occurs%20when,or%20different%20medicine%20is%20needed.">drug tolerance</a> and is documented for other long-term treatments such as antidepressants and chemotherapies.</p> <h2>Biology is only part of the story</h2> <p>For some people, using GLP-1-mimicking drugs like Ozempic will be validating and empowering. They will feel like their biology has been “normalised” in the same way that blood pressure or cholesterol medication can return people to the “normal” range of measures.</p> <p>But biologically, obesity <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7202176/#:%7E:text=Obesity%20behaves%20as%20complex%20polygenic,about%2080%25%20(3).">isn’t solely about GLP-1 activity</a> with <a href="https://www.worldobesity.org/what-we-do/our-policy-priorities/the-roots-of-obesity">many other</a> hormones, physical activity, and even our gut microbes involved.</p> <p>Overall, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK278977/">obesity is complex and multifaceted</a>. Obesity isn’t just driven by personal biology and choice; it has social, cultural, political, environmental and economic determinants.</p> <h2>A weight-centred approach misses the rest of the story</h2> <p>The weight-centred approach <a href="https://butterfly.org.au/body-image/health-not-weight/#:%7E:text=Health%20and%20wellbeing%20are%20multi,on%20their%20size%20or%20appearance.">suggests that leading with thinness means health will follow</a>. But changing appetite is only part of the story when it comes to health.</p> <p>Obesity often <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2667368123000335#:%7E:text=Obesity%20related%20malnutrition%20can%20also,%5D%2C%20%5B7%5D%5D.">co-exists with malnutrition</a>. We try to separate the effects in research using statistics, but focusing on the benefits of weight-loss drugs without addressing the underlying malnutrition means we aren’t likely to see the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/ozempic-diet-exercise-healthy-43eee86c">improved health outcomes in everyone who loses weight</a>.</p> <h2>Obesity isn’t an issue detached from people</h2> <p>Even when it is well-intentioned, the rhetoric around the joy of “ending the obesity epidemic” can <a href="https://theconversation.com/ozempic-the-miracle-drug-and-the-harmful-idea-of-a-future-without-fat-211661">harm people</a>. Obesity doesn’t occur in isolation. It is people who are obese. And the celebration and hype of these weight-loss drugs can reinforce harmful fat stigma.</p> <p>The framing of these drugs as a “cure” exacerbates the binary view of thin versus fat, and healthy versus unhealthy. These are not binary outcomes that are good or bad. Weight and health exist on a spectrum.</p> <p>Ironically, while fat people are told they need to lose weight for their health, they are also <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/ozempic-shame-why-users-are-embarrassed-to-admit-using-weight-loss-wonder-drug/news-story/ee52a819c69459afe6576d25988f9bd6">shamed for “cheating” or taking shortcuts</a> by using medication.</p> <h2>Drugs are tools, not silver bullets</h2> <p>The creation of these drugs is a start, but they remain expensive, and the hype has been followed by <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/safety/shortages/information-about-major-medicine-shortages/about-ozempic-semaglutide-shortage-2022-and-2023#:%7E:text=Consumer%20Medicine%20Information%20.-,Why%20the%20Ozempic%20shortage%20happened,label%20prescribing%20for%20weight%20loss.">shortages</a>. Ultimately, complex challenges aren’t addressed with simple solutions. This is particularly true when people are involved, and even more so when there isn’t even an agreement on what the challenge is.</p> <p>Many organisations and individuals see obesity is a disease and believe this framing helps people to seek treatment.</p> <p>Others think it’s unnecessary to attach medical labels to body types and <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffreykabat/2013/07/09/why-labeling-obesity-as-a-disease-is-a-big-mistake/?sh=5ca95cc2103b">argue</a> it confuses risk factors (things that are linked to increased risk of illness) with illness itself.</p> <p>Regardless, two things will always remain true. Drugs can only ever be tools, and those tools need to be applied in a context. To use these tools ethically, we need to remain mindful of who this application harms along the way.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Read the other articles in The Conversation’s <a href="https://theconversation.com/au/topics/ozempic-series-154673">Ozempic series</a> here.<!-- 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/219309/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 --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emma-beckett-22673">Emma Beckett</a>, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Nutrition, Dietetics &amp; Food Innovation - School of Health Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/drugs-like-ozempic-wont-cure-obesity-but-they-might-make-us-more-fat-phobic-219309">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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Hero shopkeeper uses shoelace to help deliver baby in carpark

<p>A Cheap as Chips discount store worker in Logan has been praised as a hero after helping a couple deliver their baby in the carpark behind a 7-Eleven service station. </p> <p>Sharyn Daley thought it was just another day at work on Friday, when a man ran into her store asking for a towel because his partner had gone into labour.</p> <p>She quickly sprung into action and helped with a successful delivery before paramedics arrived. </p> <p>“(All I could think of was) just survival. Someone needed help. So, you just rush and do what you can and instincts take over,” she told  <em>Sunrise</em> hosts Nat Barr and Matt Shirvington. </p> <p>“Dad was in shock. I sort of asked him to get the little toddler out of the back seat and occupy her — she was panicking.</p> <p>“But after he got his toddler out, I could concentrate on mum and telling her baby is OK."</p> <p>Daley added that when the baby boy came out he was somewhat discoloured — so, she began squeezing his arm and rubbing his head.</p> <p>“Mum was very quiet. She introduced herself. I introduced myself. And she just kept saying, ‘is baby OK, Is baby OK?’ I said ‘Yes, I’m patting him hard and stimulating him to get more oxygen in. That’s all’.”</p> <p>She then grabbed a shoelace to tie off his umbilical cord and used her sock to grab the placenta. </p> <p>Paramedics arrived shortly after.</p> <p>Daley, who is a mother-of-three and a grandmother to one, said that she had previously helped deliver puppies, which may have helped her. </p> <p>“I think it may have (helped) a bit — with tying off the cord — and things like that. (But) keeping mum and bub and dad calm. That was my first priority,” she said.</p> <p>She also added that she wanted to help the young family get started. </p> <p>“I would love to speak to them,” Daley said.</p> <p>“Courtesy of Cheap as Chips where I work. We have a cot, a change table, a mattress and a beautiful big hamper for them to help them get started,” she said.</p> <p><em>Image: Seven</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Politicians slam Albanese's "hypocritical" private jet use

<p>Anthony Albanese has been urged to consider his carbon footprint after his controversial usage of a private jet. </p> <p>A group of independent MPs have asked the Prime Minister to offset his carbon usage after it was revealed that he and two other ministers chartered two private planes to attend the same clean energy event in the NSW Hunter Valley. </p> <p>Albanese was joined by Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen and Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic to fly to the region from Canberra on Thursday to announce a $1bn to support Australian manufacturing in solar technology.</p> <p>Teal MP Zali Steggall urged the leaders to offset their carbon emissions from the short journey when it was revealed that the three men flew separately in two separate Royal Australian Air Force jets.</p> <p>“I certainly hope they were offsetting the emissions of those two jets with companies, like Green fleet and other places like that where you can offset the emissions of your travel,” Ms Stegall told <em>Sunrise</em>. </p> <p>“I certainly hope and I call on the Minister for Climate Change to do that. Look, as a lowly independent, we don’t get the luxuries of flying in the ADF jets.”</p> <p>Private jets have a dramatically higher carbon footprint per passenger than commercial planes, with the average private jet emitting two tonnes of carbon an hour.</p> <p>Mr Bowen defended the use of the planes, saying the use of two private jets was a decision made by the airforce for safety reasons.</p> <p>“The Prime Minister has a large jet available to him and that would normally be what we take,” he said on Monday.</p> <p>“The runway at Scone wasn’t strong enough to take a large jet so the air force … decided for two jets.”</p> <p>Opposition transport spokeswoman Bridget McKenzie said the government should consider “jet pooling” and should make a conscious effort to cut down on the harmful use of private jets, which emit more carbon per passenger than commercial planes.</p> <p>“I fail to see why these guys, when they’re leaving from the same place on the same day, within 30 minutes of each other, couldn’t have either shared the plane or indeed, some of them, if they couldn’t all fit, use the commercial options that were available to them to fly direct from Canberra to Newcastle to make the announcement,” Senator McKenzie said. </p> <p>“It’s quite incredible.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Who will look after us in our final years? A pay rise alone won’t solve aged-care workforce shortages

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-duckett-10730">Stephen Duckett</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>Aged-care workers will receive a significant pay increase after the Fair Work Commission <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/pdf/2024fwcfb150.pdf">ruled</a> they deserved substantial wage rises of up to 28%. The federal government <a href="https://ministers.dewr.gov.au/burke/fair-work-decision-aged-care">has committed to</a> the increases, but is yet to announce when they will start.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Tens of thousands of aged care workers will receive a major pay rise after the Fair Work Commission recommended the increase. <a href="https://t.co/NeNt1Gvxd9">https://t.co/NeNt1Gvxd9</a></p> <p>— SBS News (@SBSNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/SBSNews/status/1768557710537068889?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 15, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>But while wage rises for aged-care workers are welcome, this measure alone will not fix all workforce problems in the sector. The number of people over 80 is expected to <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-08/p2023-435150.pdf">triple over the next 40 years</a>, driving an increase in the number of aged care workers needed.</p> <h2>How did we get here?</h2> <p>The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which delivered its <a href="https://www.royalcommission.gov.au/aged-care/final-report">final report</a> in March 2021, identified a litany of tragic failures in the regulation and delivery of aged care.</p> <p>The former Liberal government was dragged reluctantly to accept that a total revamp of the aged-care system was needed. But its <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/respect-care-and-dignity-aged-care-royal-commission-452-million-immediate-response-as-government-commits-to-historic-reform-to-deliver-respect-and-care-for-senior-australians#:%7E:text=Minister%20for%20Senior%20Australians%20and,%2C%20dementia%2C%20food%20and%20nutrition.">weak response</a> left the heavy lifting to the incoming Labor government.</p> <p>The current government’s response started well, with a <a href="https://theconversation.com/anthony-albanese-offers-2-5-billion-plan-to-fix-crisis-in-aged-care-180419">significant injection of funding</a> and a promising regulatory response. But it too has failed to pursue a visionary response to the problems identified by the Royal Commission.</p> <p>Action was needed on four fronts:</p> <ul> <li>ensuring enough staff to provide care</li> <li>building a functioning regulatory system to encourage good care and weed out bad providers</li> <li>designing and introducing a fair payment system to distribute funds to providers and</li> <li>implementing a financing system to pay for it all and achieve intergenerational equity.</li> </ul> <p>A government taskforce which proposed a <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-will-aged-care-look-like-for-the-next-generation-more-of-the-same-but-higher-out-of-pocket-costs-225551">timid response to the fourth challenge</a> – an equitable financing system – was released at the start of last week.</p> <p>Consultation closed on a <a href="https://media.opan.org.au/uploads/2024/03/240308_Aged-Care-Act-Exposure-Draft-Joint-Submission_FINAL.pdf">very poorly designed new regulatory regime</a> the week before.</p> <p>But the big news came at end of the week when the Fair Work Commission handed down a further <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/pdf/2024fwcfb150.pdf">determination</a> on what aged-care workers should be paid, confirming and going beyond a previous <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/sites/work-value-aged-care/decisions-statements/2022fwcfb200.pdf">interim determination</a>.</p> <h2>What did the Fair Work Commission find?</h2> <p>Essentially, the commission determined that work in industries with a high proportion of women workers has been traditionally undervalued in wage-setting. This had consequences for both care workers in the aged-care industry (nurses and <a href="https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/CHC33021">Certificate III-qualified</a> personal-care workers) and indirect care workers (cleaners, food services assistants).</p> <p>Aged-care staff will now get significant pay increases – 18–28% increase for personal care workers employed under the Aged Care Award, inclusive of the increase awarded in the interim decision.</p> <figure class="align-center "><figcaption></figcaption>Indirect care workers were awarded a general increase of 3%. Laundry hands, cleaners and food services assistants will receive a further 3.96% <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decision-summaries/2024fwcfb150-summary.pdf">on the grounds</a> they “interact with residents significantly more regularly than other indirect care employees”.</figure> <p>The final increases for registered and enrolled nurses will be determined in the next few months.</p> <h2>How has the sector responded?</h2> <p>There has been no push-back from employer groups or conservative politicians. This suggests the uplift is accepted as fair by all concerned.</p> <p>The interim increases of up to 15% probably facilitated this acceptance, with the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-does-the-budget-mean-for-medicare-medicines-aged-care-and-first-nations-health-192842">recognition of the community</a> that care workers should be paid more than fast food workers.</p> <p>There was <a href="https://www.accpa.asn.au/media-releases/accpa-welcomes-further-aged-care-wage-rises">no criticism from aged-care providers</a> either. This is probably because they are facing difficulty in recruiting staff at current wage rates. And because government payments to providers reflect the <a href="https://www.ihacpa.gov.au/">actual cost of aged care</a>, increased payments will automatically flow to providers.</p> <p>When the increases will flow has yet to be determined. The government is due to give its recommendations for staging implementation by mid-April.</p> <h2>Is the workforce problem fixed?</h2> <p>An increase in wages is necessary, but alone is not sufficient to solve workforce shortages.</p> <p>The health- and social-care workforce is <a href="https://www.jobsandskills.gov.au/data/employment-projections">predicted</a> to grow faster than any other sector over the next decade. The “care economy” will <a href="https://theconversation.com/care-economy-to-balloon-in-an-australia-of-40-5-million-intergenerational-report-211876">grow</a> from around 8% to around 15% of GDP over the next 40 years.</p> <p>This means a greater proportion of school-leavers will need to be attracted to the aged-care sector. Aged care will also need to attract and retrain workers displaced from industries in decline and attract suitably skilled migrants and refugees with appropriate language skills.</p> <p>The <a href="https://theconversation.com/demand-driven-funding-for-universities-is-frozen-what-does-this-mean-and-should-the-policy-be-restored-116060">caps on university and college enrolments</a> imposed by the previous government, coupled with weak student demand for places in key professions (such as nursing), has meant workforce shortages will continue for a few more years, despite the allure of increased wages.</p> <p>A significant increase in intakes into university and vocational education college courses preparing students for health and social care is still required. Better pay will help to increase student demand, but funding to expand place numbers will ensure there are enough qualified staff for the aged-care system of the future. <!-- 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/225898/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/stephen-duckett-10730">Stephen Duckett</a>, Honorary Enterprise Professor, School of Population and Global Health, and Department of General Practice and Primary Care, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></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/who-will-look-after-us-in-our-final-years-a-pay-rise-alone-wont-solve-aged-care-workforce-shortages-225898">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Bunnings has toppled Woolworths as Australia’s most ‘trusted’ brand – what makes us trust a brand in the first place?

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/louise-grimmer-212082">Louise Grimmer</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p>Think of some of the world’s biggest brands: Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Apple. With what do you associate them? Are they positive associations? Now consider, do you trust them?</p> <p>Brand trust is a measure of how customers <em>feel</em> about a brand in terms of how well the brand delivers on its promises. Trust is an important measure for any organisation, large or small.</p> <p>Whether or not customers trust a brand can be the difference between choosing that brand’s products or services over another.</p> <p>In Australia, Woolworths <a href="https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/9472-risk-monitor-quartely-update-december-2023">held the title</a> of our most trusted brand for three and a half years. But recent cost-of-living pressures have put supermarkets in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.</p> <p>Roy Morgan Research’s <a href="https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/9472-risk-monitor-quartely-update-december-2023">most recent trust rankings</a> show Woolworths has slipped to number two, handing its crown to hardware behemoth Bunnings.</p> <p>It’s clear that trust is fragile and can be quickly squandered when brands lose touch with those they serve.</p> <p>So what makes us trust a brand in the first place? And why do we trust some more than others?</p> <h2>What makes us trust a brand?</h2> <p>According to customer experience management firm Qualtrics, <a href="https://www.qualtrics.com/au/experience-management/brand/brand-trust/">brand trust</a> is</p> <blockquote> <p>the confidence that customers have in a brand’s ability to deliver on what it promises. As a brand consistently meets the expectations it has set in the minds of customers, trust in that brand grows.</p> </blockquote> <p>There are many ways to go about measuring brand trust. A typical first step is to ask lots of people what they think, collating their general opinions on product quality and the brand’s customer service experience.</p> <p>This can be strengthened with more quantifiable elements, including:</p> <ul> <li>online ratings and reviews</li> <li>social media “sentiment” (positive, negative or neutral)</li> <li>corporate social responsibility activities</li> <li>philanthropic efforts</li> <li>customer data security and privacy.</li> </ul> <p>Some surveys go even deeper, asking respondents to consider a brand’s vision and mission, its approaches to sustainability and worker standards, and how honest its advertising appears.</p> <h2>Is this a real and useful metric?</h2> <p>The qualitative methodology used by <a href="https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/9472-risk-monitor-quartely-update-december-2023">Roy Morgan</a> to determine what Australian consumers think about 1,000 brands has been administered over two decades, so the data can be reliably compared across time.</p> <p>On measures of both trust and distrust, it asks respondents which brands they trust and why. This approach is useful because it tells us which elements factor into brand trust judgements.</p> <p><a href="https://roymorgan-cms-prod.s3.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/07035120/9472-Risk-Monitor-Quartely-Update-December-2023-1-1.pdf">Customer responses</a> about the survey’s most recent winner, Bunnings, show that customer service, product range, value-for-money pricing and generous returns policies are the key drivers of strong trust in its brand.</p> <p>Here are some examples:</p> <blockquote> <p>Great customer service. Love their welcoming staff. Whether it’s nuts and bolts or a new toilet seat, they have it all, value for money.</p> <p>Great products and price and have a no quibble refund policy.</p> <p>Great stock range, help is there if you need it and it is my go-to for my gardening and tool needs. Really convenient trading hours, and their return policy is good.</p> </blockquote> <p>In addition to trust, there are three other metrics commonly used to assess brand performance:</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>brand equity</strong> – the commercial or social value of consumer perceptions of a brand</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>brand loyalty</strong> – consumer willingness to consistently choose one brand over others regardless of price or competitor’s efforts</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>brand affinity</strong> – the emotional connection and common values between a brand and its customers.</p> </li> </ul> <p>However, trust is becoming a disproportionately important metric as consumers demand that companies provide <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernhardschroeder/2020/01/16/from-the-traditional-to-the-outrageous-four-brands-that-use-honest-transparency-to-build-loyal-customers-with-non-traditional-marketing-and-branding/?sh=6689f81320a1">increased transparency</a> and exhibit greater care for their customers, not just their shareholders.</p> <h2>Why do Australians trust retailers so much?</h2> <p>Of Australia’s top ten most trusted brands, seven are retailers – Bunnings, Woolworths, Aldi, Coles, Kmart, Myer and Big W.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=279&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=279&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=279&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=350&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=350&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=350&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="table shows that Bunnings is now Australia's most trusted brand, and Optus the least trusted brand." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The latest changes to Australia’s most trusted and most distrusted brand rankings.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/9472-risk-monitor-quartely-update-december-2023">Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia)</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>This <a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/90901331/america-most-trusted-brands-companies-report-2023-morning-consult">stands in contrast</a> with the United States, where the most trusted brands are predominantly from the healthcare sector.</p> <p>So why do retail brands dominate our trust rankings?</p> <p>They certainly aren’t small local businesses. Our retail sector is <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/retail/in-the-shopping-trolley-war-the-supermarkets-have-to-give-20240122-p5ez4k">highly concentrated</a>, dominated by a few giant retail brands.</p> <p>We have only two major department stores (David Jones and Myer), three major discount department stores (Big W, Target and Kmart) and a <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-23/a-history-of-the-duopoly-coles-woolworths/103494070">supermarket “duopoly”</a> (Coles and Woolworths).</p> <p>It’s most likely then that these brands have been enjoying leftover goodwill from the pandemic.</p> <p>As Australia closed down to tackle COVID-19, the retail sector, and in particular the grocery sector, was credited with enabling customers to <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/inside-story-how-woolworths-and-coles-joined-forces-to-avert-covid-19-disaster-20200611-p551lk.html">safely access</a> food and household goods.</p> <p>Compared with many other countries, we did not see a predominance of empty shelves across Australia. Retailers in this country stepped up – implementing or improving their online shopping capabilities and ensuring physical stores followed health guidelines and protocols.</p> <p>Now, with the pandemic behind us and in an environment of high inflation, the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-20/woolworths-coles-supermarket-tactics-grocery-four-corners/103405054">big two supermarkets</a> face <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/feb/20/do-coles-woolworths-specials-actually-offer-savings-choice-survey-supermarket-price-gouging-inquiry">growing distrust</a> and a <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Supermarket_Prices/SupermarketPrices">public inquiry</a>.</p> <h2>Lessons from the losers</h2> <p>After <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/nov/20/optus-scandals-network-outage-cyberattack-ceo-resignation-kelly-bayer-rosmarin">two high profile disasters</a>, Optus finds itself the most distrusted brand in Australia.</p> <p>Its companions in the “most distrusted” group include social media brands Meta (Facebook), TikTok and X.</p> <p>Qantas, Medibank Private, Newscorp, Nestle and Amazon also made the top 10.</p> <p>The main reason consumers distrust brands is for a perceived failure to live up to their promises and responsibilities.</p> <p>For example, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/09/18/amazon-working-conditions-safety-osha-doj/">worker conditions at multinational firm Amazon</a> are seen by some consumers as a reflection of questionable business practices.</p> <p>Other brands may have earned a reputation for failing to deliver the basics, like when chronic <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/transport/compensating-travellers-for-cancelled-flights-long-overdue-20240212-p5f45c">flight delays and cancellations</a> plagued many Qantas customers.</p> <h2>Lessons from the winners</h2> <p>On the flip side, consumers have rewarded budget-friendly retailers with increased trust in the most recent rankings.</p> <p>Aldi, Kmart and Bunnings have improved their standing as trusted brands, no doubt in part because they have helped many Australian consumers deal with tight household budgets.</p> <p>As discretionary consumer spending continues to tighten, we may see a more permanent consumer shopping <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/retail/rise-of-the-value-shopper-as-budgets-are-crunched-a-threat-and-opportunity-for-retailers/news-story/9b7a355cfb3866ec60d2ee42b7cbd567">shift towards value for money</a> brands and discounters.</p> <p>Trust is a fragile thing to maintain once earned. As we move through 2024, Australian companies must pay close attention to their most important asset – strong relationships with those they serve.<!-- 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/225578/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/louise-grimmer-212082">Louise Grimmer</a>, Senior Lecturer in Retail Marketing, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p>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/bunnings-has-toppled-woolworths-as-australias-most-trusted-brand-what-makes-us-trust-a-brand-in-the-first-place-225578">original article</a>.</p>

Money & Banking

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Leap of imagination: how February 29 reminds us of our mysterious relationship with time and space

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-ohara-874665">Emily O'Hara</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/auckland-university-of-technology-1137">Auckland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p>If you find it intriguing that February 28 will be followed this week by February 29, rather than March 1 as it usually is, spare a thought for those alive in 1582. Back then, Thursday October 4 was followed by Friday October 15.</p> <p>Ten whole days were snatched from the present when Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull to “restore” the calendar from discrepancies that had crept into the Julian calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BCE.</p> <p>The new Gregorian calendar returned the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox to its “proper” place, around March 21. (The equinox is when the Earth’s axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, and is used to determine the date of Easter.)</p> <p>The Julian calendar had observed a leap year every four years, but this meant time had drifted out of alignment with the dates of celestial events and astronomical seasons.</p> <p>In the Gregorian calendar, leap days were added only to years that were a multiple of four – like 2024 – with an exception for years that were evenly divisible by 100, but not 400 – like 1700.</p> <p>Simply put, leap days exist because it doesn’t take a neat 365 days for Earth to orbit the Sun. It takes 365.2422 days. Tracking the movement of celestial objects through space in an orderly pattern doesn’t quite work, which is why we have February – time’s great mop.</p> <h2>Time and space</h2> <p>This is just part of the history of how February – the shortest month, and originally the last month in the Roman calendar – came to have the job of absorbing those inconsistencies in the temporal calculations of the world’s most commonly used calendar.</p> <p>There is plenty of <a href="https://theconversation.com/leap-day-fixing-the-faults-in-our-stars-54032">science</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-the-science-behind-leap-years-and-how-they-work-54788">maths</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-a-seasonal-snarl-up-in-the-mid-1500s-gave-us-our-strange-rules-for-leap-years-132659">astrophysics</a> explaining the relationship between time and the planet we live on. But I like to think leap years and days offer something even more interesting to consider: why do we have calendars anyway?</p> <p>And what have they got to do with how we understand the wonder and strangeness of our existence in the universe? Because calendars tell a story, not just about time, but also about space.</p> <p>Our reckoning of time on Earth is through our spatial relationship to the Sun, Moon and stars. Time, and its place in our lives, sits somewhere between the scientific, the celestial and the spiritual.</p> <p>It is <a href="https://shop.whitechapelgallery.org/products/time">notoriously slippery, subjective and experiential</a>. It is also marked, tracked and determined in myriad ways across different cultures, from tropical to solar to <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/pou-tiaki/300062097/matariki-and-the-maramataka-the-mori-lunar-calendar">lunar</a> calendars.</p> <p>It is the Sun that measures a day and gives us our first reference point for understanding time. But it is the <a href="https://librarysearch.aut.ac.nz/vufind/Record/1145999?sid=25214690">Moon</a>, as a major celestial body, that extends our perception of time. By stretching a span of one day into something longer, it offers us a chance for philosophical reflection.</p> <p>The Sun (or its effect at least) is either present or not present. The Moon, however, goes through phases of transformation. It appears and disappears, changing shape and hinting that one night is not exactly like the one before or after.</p> <p>The Moon also has a distinct rhythm that can be tracked and understood as a pattern, giving us another sense of duration. Time is just that – overlapping durations: instants, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, lifetimes, centuries, ages.</p> <h2>The elusive Moon</h2> <p>It is almost impossible to imagine how time might feel in the absence of all the tools and gadgets we use to track, control and corral it. But it’s also hard to know what we might do in the absence of time as a unit of productivity – a measurable, dispensable resource.</p> <p>The closest we might come is simply to imagine what life might feel like in the absence of the Moon. Each day would rise and fall, in a rhythm of its own, but without visible reference to anything else. Just endless shifts from light to dark.</p> <p>Nights would be almost completely dark without the light of the Moon. Only stars at a much further distance would puncture the inky sky. The world around us would change – trees would grow, mammals would age and die, land masses would shift and change – but all would happen in an endless cycle of sunrise to sunset.</p> <p>The light from the Sun takes <a href="https://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/space-science/how-take-light-from-sun-reach-earth">eight minutes</a> to reach Earth, so the sunlight we see is always eight minutes in the past.</p> <p>I remember sitting outside when I first learned this, and wondering what the temporal delay might be between me and other objects: a plum tree, trees at the end of the street, hills in the distance, light on the horizon when looking out over the ocean, stars in the night sky.</p> <p>Moonlight, for reference, takes about <a href="https://www.pbs.org/seeinginthedark/astronomy-topics/light-as-a-cosmic-time-machine.html">1.3 seconds</a> to get to Earth. Light always travels at the same speed, it is entirely constant. The differing duration between how long it takes for sunlight or moonlight to reach the Earth is determined by the space in between.</p> <p>Time on the other hand, is anything but constant. There are countless ways we characterise it. The mere fact we have so many calendars and ways of describing perceptual time hints at our inability to pin it down.</p> <p>Calendars give us the impression we can, and have, made time predictable and understandable. Leap years, days and seconds serve as a periodic reminder that we haven’t.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. 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More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-ohara-874665"><em>Emily O'Hara</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer, Spatial Design + Temporary Practices, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/auckland-university-of-technology-1137">Auckland University of Technology</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/leap-of-imagination-how-february-29-reminds-us-of-our-mysterious-relationship-with-time-and-space-224503">original article</a>.</em></p>

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