Placeholder Content Image

The voice in your head may help you recall and process words. But what if you don’t have one?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/derek-arnold-106381">Derek Arnold</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p>Can you imagine hearing yourself speak? A voice inside your head – perhaps reciting a shopping list or a phone number? What would life be like if you couldn’t?</p> <p>Some people, including me, cannot have imagined visual experiences. We cannot close our eyes and conjure an experience of seeing a loved one’s face, or imagine our lounge room layout – to consider if a new piece of furniture might fit in it. This is called “<a href="https://theconversation.com/a-blind-and-deaf-mind-what-its-like-to-have-no-visual-imagination-or-inner-voice-226134">aphantasia</a>”, from a Greek phrase where the “a” means without, and “phantasia” refers to an image. Colloquially, people like myself are often referred to as having a “blind mind”.</p> <p>While most attention has been given to the inability to have imagined visual sensations, aphantasics can lack other imagined experiences. We might be unable to experience imagined tastes or smells. Some people cannot imagine hearing themselves speak.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/we-used-to-think-everybody-heard-a-voice-inside-their-heads-but-we-were-wrong">recent study</a> has advanced our understanding of people who cannot imagine hearing their own internal monologue. Importantly, the authors have identified some tasks that such people are more likely to find challenging.</p> <h2>What the study found</h2> <p>Researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/09567976241243004">recruited 93 volunteers</a>. They included 46 adults who reported low levels of inner speech and 47 who reported high levels.</p> <p>Both groups were given challenging tasks: judging if the names of objects they had seen would rhyme and recalling words. The group without an inner monologue performed worse. But differences disappeared when everyone could say words aloud.</p> <p>Importantly, people who reported less inner speech were not worse at all tasks. They could recall similar numbers of words when the words had a different appearance to one another. This negates any suggestion that aphants (people with aphantasia) simply weren’t trying or were less capable.</p> <h2>A welcome validation</h2> <p>The study provides some welcome evidence for the lived experiences of some aphants, who are still often told their experiences are not different, but rather that they cannot describe their imagined experiences. Some people feel anxiety when they realise other people can have imagined experiences that they cannot. These feelings may be deepened when others assert they are merely confused or inarticulate.</p> <p>In my own <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1374349/full">aphantasia research</a> I have often quizzed crowds of people on their capacity to have imagined experiences.</p> <p>Questions about the capacity to have imagined visual or audio sensations tend to be excitedly endorsed by a vast majority, but questions about imagined experiences of taste or smell seem to cause more confusion. Some people are adamant they can do this, including a colleague who says he can imagine what combinations of ingredients will taste like when cooked together. But other responses suggest subtypes of aphantasia may prove to be more common than we realise.</p> <p>The authors of the recent study suggest the inability to imagine hearing yourself speak should be referred to as “anendophasia”, meaning without inner speech. Other authors had suggested <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8551557/">anauralia</a> (meaning without auditory imagery). Still other researchers have referred to all types of imagined sensation as being different types of “imagery”.</p> <p>Having <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0010945222000417">consistent names</a> is important. It can help scientists “talk” to one another to compare findings. If different authors use different names, important evidence can be missed.</p> <h2>We have more than 5 senses</h2> <p>Debate continues about how many senses humans have, but some scientists reasonably argue for a <a href="https://www.sensorytrust.org.uk/blog/how-many-senses-do-we-have#:%7E:text=Because%20there%20is%20some%20overlap,sensation%20of%20hunger%20or%20thirst.">number greater than 20</a>.</p> <p>In addition to the five senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing, lesser known senses include thermoception (our sense of heat) and proprioception (awareness of the positions of our body parts). Thanks to proprioception, most of us can close our eyes and touch the tip of our index finger to our nose. Thanks to our vestibular sense, we typically have a good idea of which way is up and can maintain balance.</p> <p>It may be tempting to give a new name to each inability to have a given type of imagined sensation. But this could lead to confusion. Another approach would be to adapt phrases that are already widely used. People who are unable to have imagined sensations commonly refer to ourselves as “aphants”. This could be adapted with a prefix, such as “audio aphant”. Time will tell which approach is adopted by most researchers.</p> <h2>Why we should keep investigating</h2> <p>Regardless of the names we use, the study of multiple types of inability to have an imagined sensation is important. These investigations could reveal the essential processes in human brains that bring about a conscious experience of an imagined sensation.</p> <p>In time, this will not only lead to a better understanding of the diversity of humans, but may help uncover how human brains can create any conscious sensation. This question – how and where our conscious feelings are generated – remains one of the great mysteries of science.<!-- 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/230973/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/derek-arnold-106381">Derek Arnold</a>, Professor, School of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</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/the-voice-in-your-head-may-help-you-recall-and-process-words-but-what-if-you-dont-have-one-230973">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

5 ways your sleep affects what you eat

<p>We know a good night’s sleep is good for us but logging in those hours of sleep can be a difficult task. Without quality shut-eye, our productivity decreases, immune system weakens and even our dietary health is negatively affected.</p> <p><strong>You eat more when you sleep less</strong></p> <p>A Mayo Clinic study comparing the eating habits of people who slept as much as they needed and those who only slept two-thirds of their required rest time for eight days, found the subject who were sleep-deprived ended up eating an average of 549 extra calories each day.</p> <p><strong>You snack more, especially at night</strong></p> <p>A lack of sleep can lead to decrease in physical activity and an increase in snacking behaviour. Such behaviours typically leads to weight gain.</p> <p><strong>You crave extra carbs and fatty foods</strong></p> <p>The foods we’re snacking on aren’t usually the healthy variety. A 2013 study found that when we’re tired we not only crave unhealthy, -carbohydrate, and high-fat foods but we’re less likely to consider the consequences of such food choices over time.</p> <p><strong>Disrupted sleep cycle equal changing eating patterns</strong></p> <p>Your internal clock guides both your sleep patterns and your eating patterns – aka when you feel hungry during the day. A 2011 study found that people who are “late sleepers” tend to delay their meals throughout the day and end up consuming more calories than the average meal. Those late-eating habits affect sleep and perpetuates the cycle.</p> <p><strong>You don’t eat the right foods</strong></p> <p>A 2013 study found that sleep-deprived subjects ate half the fruit and vegetable servings of a normal sleeper. This meant losing key nutrients from their diet, which can lead to dietary imbalances and effect the regular functioning of the body. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Who really was Mona Lisa? More than 500 years on, there’s good reason to think we got it wrong

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/darius-von-guttner-sporzynski-112147">Darius von Guttner Sporzynski</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p>In the pantheon of Renaissance art, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa stands as an unrivalled icon. This half-length portrait is more than just an artistic masterpiece; it embodies the allure of an era marked by unparalleled cultural flourishing.</p> <p>Yet, beneath the surface of the Mona Lisa’s elusive smile lies a debate that touches the very essence of the Renaissance, its politics and the role of women in history.</p> <h2>A mystery woman</h2> <p>The intrigue of the Mona Lisa, also known as <a href="https://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/artdok/4207/1/Zoellner_Leonardos_portrait_of_Mona_Lisa_1993.pdf">La Gioconda</a>, isn’t solely due to Leonardo’s revolutionary painting techniques. It’s also because the identity of the subject is unconfirmed to this day. More than half a millennium since it was first painted, the real identity of the Mona Lisa remains one of art’s greatest mysteries, intriguing scholars and enthusiasts alike.</p> <p>The painting has traditionally been associated with Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo. But another compelling theory suggests a different sitter: Isabella of Aragon.</p> <p>Isabella of Aragon was born into the illustrious House of Aragon in Naples, in 1470. She was a princess who was deeply entwined in the political and cultural fabric of the Renaissance.</p> <p>Her 1490 marriage to Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan, positioned Isabella at the heart of Italian politics. And this role was both complicated and elevated by the ambitions and machinations of Ludovico Sforza (also called Ludovico il Moro), her husband’s uncle and usurper of the Milanese dukedom.</p> <h2>Scholarly perspectives</h2> <p>The theory that Isabella is the real Mona Lisa is supported by a combination of stylistic analyses, historical connections and reinterpretations of Leonardo’s intent as an artist.</p> <p>In his <a href="https://www.bookstellyouwhy.com/pages/books/51791/robert-payne/leonardo-1st-edition-1st-printing">biography of Leonardo</a>, author Robert Payne points to <a href="https://emuseum.hydecollection.org/objects/94/study-of-the-mona-lisa?ctx=760b87fd-efbf-4468-b579-42f98e9712d2&amp;idx=0">preliminary studies</a> by the artist that bear a striking resemblances to Isabella around age 20. Payne suggests Leonardo captured Isabella <a href="https://emuseum.hydecollection.org/objects/94/study-of-the-mona-lisa?ctx=760b87fd-efbf-4468-b579-42f98e9712d2&amp;idx=0">across different life stages</a>, including during widowhood, as depicted in the Mona Lisa.</p> <p>US artist Lillian F. Schwartz’s <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0097849395000317">1988 study</a> used x-rays to reveal an initial sketch of a woman hidden beneath Leonardo’s painting. This sketch was then painted over with Leonardo’s own likeness.</p> <p>Schwartz believes the woman in the sketch is Isabella, because of its similarity with a cartoon Leonardo made of the princess. She proposes the work was made by integrating specific features of the initial model with Leonardo’s own features.</p> <p>This hypothesis is further supported by art historians Jerzy Kulski and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owjJWxcnKrE">Maike Vogt-Luerssen</a>.</p> <p>According to Vogt-Luerssen’s <a href="https://www.kleio.org/de/buecher/wer-ist-mona-lisa/">detailed analysis</a> of the Mona Lisa, the symbols of the Sforza house and the depiction of mourning garb both align with Isabella’s known life circumstances. They suggest the Mona Lisa isn’t a commissioned portrait, but a nuanced representation of a woman’s journey through triumph and tragedy.</p> <p>Similarly, Kulski highlights the <a href="https://www.academia.edu/40147186/The_Mona_Lisa_Portrait_Leonardos_Personal_and_Political_Tribute_to_Isabella_Aragon_Sforza_the_Duchess_of_Milan">portrait’s heraldic designs</a>, which would be atypical for a silk merchant’s wife. He, too, suggests the painting shows Isabella mourning her late husband.</p> <p>The Mona Lisa’s enigmatic expression also captures Isabella’s self-described state post-1500 of being “<a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1468-0424.12683">alone in misfortune</a>”. Contrary to representing a wealthy, recently married woman, the portrait exudes the aura of a virtuous widow.</p> <p>Late professor of art history <a href="https://brill.com/display/book/edcoll/9789004304130/B9789004304130_014.xml?language=en">Joanna Woods-Marsden</a> suggested the Mona Lisa transcends traditional portraiture and embodies Leonardo’s ideal, rather than being a straightforward commission.</p> <p>This perspective frames the work as a deeply personal project for Leonardo, possibly signifying a special connection between him and Isabella. Leonardo’s reluctance to part with the work also indicates a deeper, personal investment in it.</p> <h2>Beyond the canvas</h2> <p>The theory that Isabella of Aragon could be the true Mona Lisa is a profound reevaluation of the painting’s context, opening up new avenues through which to appreciate the work.</p> <p>It elevates Isabella from a figure overshadowed by the men in her life, to a woman of courage and complexity who deserves recognition in her own right.</p> <p>Through her strategic marriage and political savvy, <a href="https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85147429412&amp;origin=resultslist">Isabella played a crucial role in the alliances and conflicts</a> that defined the Italian Renaissance. By possibly choosing her as his subject, Leonardo immortalised her and also made a profound statement on the complexity and agency of women in a male-dominated society.</p> <p>The ongoing debate over Mona Lisa’s identity underscores this work’s significance as a cultural and historical artefact. It also invites us to reflect on the roles of women in the Renaissance and challenge common narratives that minimise them.</p> <p>In this light, it becomes a legacy of the women who shaped the Renaissance.<!-- 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/220666/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/darius-von-guttner-sporzynski-112147">Darius von Guttner Sporzynski</a>, Historian, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Xinhua News Agency/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/who-really-was-mona-lisa-more-than-500-years-on-theres-good-reason-to-think-we-got-it-wrong-220666">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Cost of living: if you can’t afford as much fresh produce, are canned veggies or frozen fruit just as good?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/evangeline-mantzioris-153250">Evangeline Mantzioris</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180"><em>University of South Australia</em></a></em></p> <p>The cost of living crisis is affecting how we spend our money. For many people, this means tightening the budget on the weekly supermarket shop.</p> <p>One victim may be fresh fruit and vegetables. Data from the <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/australians-consuming-fewer-vegetables-fruit-and-less-milk#:%7E:text=Paul%20Atyeo%2C%20ABS%20health%20statistics,278%20to%20267%20to%20grams.%E2%80%9D">Australian Bureau of Statistics</a> (ABS) suggests Australians were consuming fewer fruit and vegetables in 2022–23 than the year before.</p> <p>The cost of living is likely compounding a problem that exists already – on the whole, Australians don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables. <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating">Australian dietary guidelines</a> recommend people aged nine and older should consume <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups/fruit">two</a> serves of fruit and <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups/vegetables-and-legumes-beans">five</a> serves of vegetables each day for optimal health. But in 2022 the <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/dietary-behaviour/latest-release">ABS reported</a> only 4% of Australians met the recommendations for both fruit and vegetable consumption.</p> <p>Fruit and vegetables are crucial for a healthy, balanced diet, providing a range of <a href="https://theconversation.com/were-told-to-eat-a-rainbow-of-fruit-and-vegetables-heres-what-each-colour-does-in-our-body-191337">vitamins</a> and minerals as well as fibre.</p> <p>If you can’t afford as much fresh produce at the moment, there are other ways to ensure you still get the benefits of these food groups. You might even be able to increase your intake of fruit and vegetables.</p> <h2>Frozen</h2> <p>Fresh produce is often touted as being the most nutritious (think of the old adage “fresh is best”). But this is not necessarily true.</p> <p>Nutrients can decline in transit from the paddock to your kitchen, and while the produce is stored in your fridge. Frozen vegetables may actually be higher in some nutrients such as <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25526594/">vitamin C and E</a> as they are snap frozen very close to the time of harvest. Variations in transport and storage can affect this slightly.</p> <p><a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jf504890k">Minerals</a> such as calcium, iron and magnesium stay at similar levels in frozen produce compared to fresh.</p> <p>Another advantage to frozen vegetables and fruit is the potential to reduce food waste, as you can use only what you need at the time.</p> <p>As well as buying frozen fruit and vegetables from the supermarket, you can freeze produce yourself at home if you have an oversupply from the garden, or when produce may be cheaper.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.growveg.com.au/guides/freezing-vegetables-and-herbs-the-garden-foodie-version/">quick blanching</a> prior to freezing can improve the safety and quality of the produce. This is when food is briefly submerged in boiling water or steamed for a short time.</p> <p>Frozen vegetables won’t be suitable for salads but can be eaten roasted or steamed and used for soups, stews, casseroles, curries, pies and quiches. Frozen fruits can be added to breakfast dishes (with cereal or youghurt) or used in cooking for fruit pies and cakes, for example.</p> <h2>Canned</h2> <p>Canned vegetables and fruit similarly often offer a cheaper alternative to fresh produce. They’re also very convenient to have on hand. The <a href="https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can#gsc.tab=0">canning process</a> is the preservation technique, so there’s no need to add any additional preservatives, including salt.</p> <p>Due to the cooking process, levels of heat-sensitive nutrients <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jsfa.2825">such as vitamin C</a> will decline a little compared to fresh produce. When you’re using canned vegetables in a hot dish, you can add them later in the cooking process to reduce the amount of nutrient loss.</p> <p>To minimise waste, you can freeze the portion you don’t need.</p> <h2>Fermented</h2> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723656/">Fermentation</a> has recently come into fashion, but it’s actually one of the oldest food processing and preservation techniques.</p> <p>Fermentation largely retains the vitamins and minerals in fresh vegetables. But fermentation may also enhance the food’s nutritional profile by creating new nutrients and allowing existing ones to be <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9352655/">absorbed more easily</a>.</p> <p>Further, fermented foods contain probiotics, which are beneficial for our <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10051273/">gut microbiome</a>.</p> <h2>5 other tips to get your fresh fix</h2> <p>Although alternatives to fresh such as canned or frozen fruit and vegetables are good substitutes, if you’re looking to get more fresh produce into your diet on a tight budget, here are some things you can do.</p> <p><strong>1. Buy in season</strong></p> <p>Based on supply and demand principles, buying local seasonal vegetables and fruit will always be cheaper than those that are imported out of season from other countries.</p> <p><strong>2. Don’t shun the ugly fruit and vegetables</strong></p> <p>Most supermarkets now sell “ugly” fruit and vegetables, that are not physically perfect in some way. This does not affect the levels of nutrients in them at all, or their taste.</p> <p><strong>3. Reduce waste</strong></p> <p>On average, an Australian household throws out <a href="https://www.ozharvest.org/food-waste-facts/">A$2,000–$2,500</a> worth of food every year. Fruit, vegetables and bagged salad are the <a href="https://www.ozharvest.org/food-waste-facts/">three of the top five foods</a> thrown out in our homes. So properly managing fresh produce could help you save money (and benefit <a href="https://endfoodwaste.com.au/why-end-food-waste/">the environment</a>).</p> <p>To minimise waste, plan your meals and shopping ahead of time. And if you don’t think you’re going to get to eat the fruit and vegetables you have before they go off, freeze them.</p> <p><strong>4. Swap and share</strong></p> <p>There are many websites and apps which offer the opportunity to swap or even pick up free fresh produce if people have more than they need. Some <a href="https://www.charlessturt.sa.gov.au/environment/sustainable-lifestyles/community-fruit-and-vege-swaps">local councils are also encouraging</a> swaps on their websites, so dig around and see what you can find in your local area.</p> <p><strong>5. Gardening</strong></p> <p>Regardless of how small your garden is you can always <a href="https://www.gardeningaustraliamag.com.au/best-vegies-grow-pots/">plant produce in pots</a>. Herbs, rocket, cherry tomatoes, chillies and strawberries all grow well. In the long run, these will offset some of your cost on fresh produce.</p> <p>Plus, when you have put the effort in to grow your own produce, <a href="https://mdpi-res.com/sustainability/sustainability-07-02695/article_deploy/sustainability-07-02695.pdf?version=1425549154">you are less likely to waste it</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/229724/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/evangeline-mantzioris-153250"><em>Evangeline Mantzioris</em></a><em>, Program Director of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Accredited Practising Dietitian, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</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/cost-of-living-if-you-cant-afford-as-much-fresh-produce-are-canned-veggies-or-frozen-fruit-just-as-good-229724">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

Condolence messages that will help you find the right words

<h2>Condolence messages for every situation</h2> <p>When someone you care about has lost someone they care about, it’s important to reach out and show your love. “We’re hard-wired as human beings to connect with others, especially when we’re grieving,” says Abigail Nathanson, a licensed social worker and professor of grief and trauma at New York University. “Being able to talk about the pain and loss and receive support from others is an essential part of the grieving process.” While you may eventually engage in longer discussions, condolence messages are the first step after any loss.</p> <p>These messages of sympathy are a simple and beautiful way to connect with a grieving loved one. But even though death and grief are universal experiences, it can be hard to find the right things to say to someone who is grieving or know what to write in a condolence card—probably because there aren’t any words that can take away their pain.</p> <p>But it’s proper etiquette to say something rather than to stay silent. Otherwise, the person who’s grieving might think you don’t care.</p> <h2>What can you say to comfort someone who’s lost a loved one?</h2> <p>“Just like there is no one ‘right’ way to grieve, there is no one script for what to say to someone who has experienced a great loss,” Nathanson says. “However we do know that there are some things that many people find comforting and supportive.”</p> <p>When thinking of what to say when someone dies, Nathanson offers these tips:</p> <ul> <li>Lead with sympathy or empathy.</li> <li>Offer to listen (and then listen without interrupting).</li> <li>Don’t offer banal platitudes, like: “Everything will turn out for the best.”</li> <li>Don’t tell them how to feel, like: “Your father wouldn’t want you to be sad.”</li> <li>Reinforce your love and support for them.</li> <li>Offer to help in meaningful ways.</li> <li>Don’t offer advice unless they ask for it.</li> </ul> <h2>How to write a condolence message</h2> <p>“Remember that the goal of a condolence message is not to talk the person out of being sad or to ‘cure’ their grief,” Nathanson says. “It’s to offer love and support during a trying time.”</p> <p>Expressing condolences in person is incredibly powerful, but if you can’t be there with them, sending a condolence message is the next best thing. In this digital age, you have lots of options.</p> <ul> <li>Video messages offer the added bonus of face-to-face connection.</li> <li>Condolence text messages are an immediate way to reach out.</li> <li>Email is a great way to share longer thoughts, including pictures or memories of the loved one. They can also be read at the person’s leisure.</li> <li>Handwritten notes show extra care and are often sentimental keepsakes.</li> <li>Comments on social media show public support and allow you to interact with others who may be grieving the loss as well.</li> </ul> <p>Regardless of which method you choose to convey your love and support, keep your message relatively short. Grief can induce brain fog, making it difficult to concentrate on long messages, Nathanson says. And send your message as soon as you can (but better late than never!), and consider attaching it to one of these beautiful sympathy gifts.</p> <h2>Short condolence messages</h2> <p>To help you find the right words, here’s a list of heartfelt short condolence messages messages. Your kind words will be appreciated more than you know.</p> <ol> <li>I’m so sorry for your loss.</li> <li>My heart breaks for you.</li> <li>This hurts, and it sucks!</li> <li>You are in my prayers.</li> <li>My heart is with you at this time.</li> <li>I love you, and I’m here for you.</li> <li>I’m so sorry you are hurting.</li> <li>Sending love and peace.</li> <li>You are in my thoughts.</li> <li>May you find comfort at this time.</li> <li>Blessings for you and your loved ones.</li> <li>I’m with you during this difficult time.</li> <li>I hope you can feel my love.</li> <li>Love and support for you and yours.</li> <li>I wish I could give you the biggest hug.</li> <li>Sending you peaceful and loving vibes.</li> <li>Praying you feel comforted.</li> <li>You can cry on my shoulder.</li> <li>I’m devastated for you.</li> <li>My heart goes out to you at this difficult time.</li> </ol> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/inspirational/condolence-messages-that-will-help-you-find-the-right-words" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

New study reveals people who do this daily make more money over their lifetimes

<p>You’ve heard that regular exercise can help you live richly. Frequent movement, even in short bursts throughout the day, has been linked to lower all-cause mortality rates and reduced risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes and other age-related conditions, helping you age healthfully and stay independent.</p> <p>Now, new research suggests frequent exercise might help you live well in another meaningful way; in terms of income. In a recent study published in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, doctors from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), which is part of the National Institute of Health (NIH), investigated whether individuals who stayed active would earn more money as a result of their active lifestyle.</p> <p>The researchers’ findings revealed that staying active not only resulted in higher present earnings, but also predicted increased future income throughout one’s life. In essence, the science was clear: Getting more exercise could make you wealthier.</p> <h2>How exercise predicted future earnings</h2> <p>The researchers set out to explore three key correlations: How mobility affected income, how mobility influenced income over time, and whether exercise could help people maintain their mobility as they aged.</p> <p>The team analysed data from the US-federally-supported Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the largest study tracking changes over time in Americans aged 50 and above. This comprehensive study takes into account various life aspects, including work, socio-economic status, health, psychology and family matters, as individuals age.</p> <p>To assess the impact of current mobility on income, the researchers examined data from over 19,000 respondents to determine how well they could perform simple tasks, such as walking several blocks, climbing multiple flights of stairs, or moving around a room. Each person received a numerical score, with 5 indicating full mobility and 0 indicating difficulties with these tasks.</p> <h2>What earnings over time revealed</h2> <p>The researchers found that for each decrease in the mobility category, individuals lost out on an average of US$3000 in annual income compared to their peers. Those who were active were also significantly more likely to remain working for longer than the other group. It appeared that engaging in exercise enabled individuals to maintain mobility and engage in professional life for a longer period of time than those who were less active.</p> <p>Looking at earnings over time revealed even more substantial benefits for those who remained active throughout their lives. Active individuals showed an overall income level that was US$6500 higher, along with higher rates of employment.</p> <p>For the third part of the study, it’s not surprising that those who engaged in exercise continued to maintain their mobility after the age of 55 and had higher employment rates. Even exercising just one day a week showed improvements in mobility outcomes.</p> <h2>Moving more benefits more than just health</h2> <p>While this study doesn’t definitively prove that leading a healthy lifestyle directly leads to higher earnings, it strongly suggests that staying healthy and mobile brings benefits beyond just lower levels of disease (which is a type of wealth in and of itself). NIAMS Director Lindsey A. Criswell, M.D., M.P.H., underscores this point: “We have long understood that greater mobility is an important indicator of good health … The notion that mobility can have economic rewards further extends the evidence for the benefits of exercise and maintaining an active lifestyle.”</p> <p>If this science inspires you to make a healthy lifestyle change, speak with a licensed healthcare provider to determine the right exercise programme for you.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/new-study-reveals-people-who-do-this-daily-make-more-money-over-their-lifetimes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>.</em> </p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

How do I plan for my retirement? Step one – start right away

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p>Planning for retirement is important because it will help you build the nest egg you’ll need to financially sustain your retirement years.</p> <p>Past <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/epdf/10.1080/03601277.2012.660859?needAccess=true">studies</a> have shown that those who plan for their retirement are more likely to be better off at retirement compared to those don’t.</p> <p>The sooner the planning process gets underway, the better. This gives your money more time to grow by generating investment returns. And the income from your first job is your first opportunity to save for retirement. As the saying goes: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”</p> <p>As people <a href="https://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=15601">can expect to live longer</a>, they must save more for retirement so that they don’t outlive their savings. This is particularly true given that the pensions landscape worldwide has undergone some major changes.</p> <p>In the past, governments and employers provided retirement income for individuals through government social security benefits and employment-based retirement funds. Because of increasing life expectancies, pension plans that guaranteed a retirement benefit to employees are now rare. Employees are now responsible for making contributions towards their own pensions as well as choosing the investments offered by the pension fund.</p> <p>Since employers are no longer responsible for funding their employees’ retirement and governments lack resources to provide a universal state pension, each person is ultimately responsible for ensuring they have enough retirement savings. So it’s very important to know the basics of the retirement planning process.</p> <p>As a researcher, I’m interested in how people use financial products to overcome economic challenges and build wealth. One of the things I investigate is whether planning for retirement leads to better retirement outcomes. For instance, my <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bomikazi-Zeka-2/publication/340130176_Retirement_funding_adequacy_in_black_South_African_townships/links/5e8bf3924585150839c6408b/Retirement-funding-adequacy-in-black-South-African-townships.pdf?_sg%5B0%5D=started_experiment_milestone&amp;origin=journalDetail&amp;_rtd=e30%3D">research</a> has found that individuals whose financial affairs are in order are more likely to maintain their standard of living at retirement.</p> <p>Given that everyone’s financial situation is unique, it’s always a good idea to speak to a financial planner for tailored financial advice.</p> <p>If you haven’t given retirement planning much thought or don’t know where to start, here are four points to help get the ball rolling.</p> <h2>What are my retirement goals?</h2> <p>Retirement goals make you think about what you want to achieve by the time you retire and what you need to do to achieve it. Some people may have a goal in mind about when they want to retire, or how much wealth they’d like to have by the time they retire. And since wealth has different meanings for different people, others may think about maintaining or improving their standard of living at retirement.</p> <p>Once you’ve thought about your retirement goals, the <a href="https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/management/smart-goal/">“smart” goals</a> framework is a useful guide. It outlines that goals should be: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.</p> <p>When goals are clear, within reach, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive, they become a blueprint to help you turn them into a reality.</p> <h2>How do I start saving for retirement?</h2> <p>For those who have a job that comes with retirement fund membership, a workplace pension is used to provide for retirement. But there are also other options available to help you save.</p> <p>For instance, retirement annuity funds are voluntary retirement savings. Personal assets such as <a href="https://www.allangray.co.za/what-we-offer/unit-trust-investment/#fund-3">unit trusts</a> or <a href="https://www.gov.za/faq/money-matters/how-can-i-make-tax-free-investment">tax-free investments</a> can also be used as a savings tool. Unit trusts are generally better suited for people willing to take on risk because their value is tied to the movements of financial markets. In other words, they can generate positive returns but they can also lose value. The drawback of tax-free investments in South Africa is that they have a lifetime contribution limit. You can’t use them to save more than R500,000 (US$27,400).</p> <p>Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages and what works best for one person may not be best for another. But there are several ways to save for retirement depending on your financial situation and retirement goals. Getting professional advice will help you determine what’s best for you.</p> <h2>Will my retirement savings be enough?</h2> <p>Once you’ve set your retirement goals and have a retirement savings plan in place, you can calculate whether you are saving enough to achieve your retirement goals.</p> <p>For example, if your retirement goal is: “I want to retire at the age of 65 years with an income equivalent to R35,000 (US$1,900) per month” then you can use a <a href="https://www.sanlam.co.za/tools/Pages/retirement.aspx">retirement calculator</a> to track your progress and determine whether you need to make adjustments to meet your goals.</p> <p>You might have to increase the monthly amount you’re putting away for retirement or reconsider your retirement age. The retirement calculators are also a useful tool for regular check-ins on your progress should your financial situation change – for example, if you change employers and earn a different salary.</p> <h2>What other issues should I consider?</h2> <p>It’s also important to think about your lifestyle and priorities.</p> <p>For instance:</p> <ul> <li> <p>do you aim to retire with your mortgage settled?</p> </li> <li> <p>are there debts you plan to clear before you retire or children who need financial support at retirement?</p> </li> <li> <p>would you like to renovate your home?</p> </li> <li> <p>would you like to buy a new car when you reach retirement age?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Another important consideration is healthcare costs. Many people assume that they will be able to work indefinitely and overlook the fact that healthcare costs may increase with age.</p> <h2>Starting early matters</h2> <p>Many people plan to work after retirement age, while others don’t plan to retire at all. It may be that they can’t afford to. They may have accessed their retirement benefits too soon, made inconsistent retirement fund contributions, or had to pay high administrative costs that eroded the final value of a retirement payout.</p> <p>So best be prepared. Retirement may seem like a distant event to plan and save for, especially when there are more pressing financial needs. It’s important to think about the financial decisions you make now that may cost you in the future. If you start to plan for your retirement now, your future self will thank you for it.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230553/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/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, Assistant Professor in Finance and Financial Planning, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</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/how-do-i-plan-for-my-retirement-step-one-start-right-away-230553">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Retirement Income

Placeholder Content Image

Worried your address, birth date or health data is being sold? You should be – and the law isn’t protecting you

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katharine-kemp-402096">Katharine Kemp</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Australians don’t know and can’t control how data brokers are spreading their personal information. This is the core finding of a newly <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Digital-platform-services-inquiry-March-2024-interim-report.pdf">released report</a> from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).</p> <p>Consumers wanting to rent a property, get an insurance quote or shop online are not given real choices about whether their personal data is shared for other purposes. This exposes Australians to scams, fraud, manipulation and discrimination.</p> <p>In fact, <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/consumers-lack-visibility-and-choice-over-data-collection-practices">many don’t even know</a> what kind of data has been collected about them and shared or sold by data firms and other third parties.</p> <p>Our privacy laws are due for reform. But Australia’s privacy commissioner <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4224653">should also enforce</a> an existing rule: with very limited exceptions, businesses must not collect information about you from third parties.</p> <h2>What are data brokers?</h2> <p><a href="https://cprc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/CPRC-Singled-Out-Final-Feb-2024.pdf">Data brokers</a> generally make their profits by collecting information about individuals from various sources and sharing this personal data with their many business clients. This can include detailed profiles of a person’s family, health, finances and movements.</p> <p>Data brokers often have no connection with the individual – you may not even recognise the name of a firm that holds vast amounts of information on you. Some of these data brokers are large multinational companies with billions of dollars in revenue.</p> <p>Consumer and privacy advocates provided the ACCC with evidence of highly concerning data broker practices. <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Salinger%20Privacy.pdf">One woman</a> tried to find out how data brokers had got hold of her information after receiving targeted medical advertising.</p> <p>Although she never discovered how they obtained her data, she found out it included her name, date of birth and contact details. It also included inferences about her, such as her retiree status, having no children, not having “high affluence” and being likely to donate to a charity.</p> <p>ACCC found another data broker was reportedly creating lists of individuals who may be experiencing vulnerability. The categories included:</p> <ul> <li>children, teenage girls and teenage boys</li> <li>“financially unsavvy” people</li> <li>elderly people living alone</li> <li>new migrants</li> <li>religious minorities</li> <li>unemployed people</li> <li>people in financial distress</li> <li>new migrants</li> <li>people experiencing pain or who have visited certain medical facilities.</li> </ul> <p>These are all potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited, for example, by scammers or unscrupulous advertisers.</p> <h2>How do they get this information?</h2> <p>The ACCC notes <a href="https://cprc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/CPRC-working-paper-Not-a-fair-trade-March-2025.pdf">74% of Australians are uncomfortable</a> with their personal information being shared or sold.</p> <p>Nonetheless, data brokers sell and share Australian consumers’ personal information every day. Businesses we deal with – for example, when we buy a car or search for natural remedies on an online marketplace – both buy data about us from data brokers and provide them with more.</p> <p>The ACCC acknowledges consumers haven’t been given a choice about this.</p> <p>Attempting to read every privacy term is near impossible. The ACCC referred to a recent study which found it would take consumers <a href="https://www.mi-3.com.au/06-11-2023/aussies-face-10-hour-privacy-policy-marathon-finds-study">over 46 hours a month</a> to read every privacy policy they encounter.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?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/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=131&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=131&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=131&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=165&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=165&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=165&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The approximate length and time it would take to read an average privacy policy in Australia per month.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/publications/serial-publications/digital-platform-services-inquiry-2020-25-reports/digital-platform-services-inquiry-interim-report-march-2024">ACCC Digital Platform Services Inquiry interim report</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Even if you could read every term, you still wouldn’t get a clear picture. Businesses use <a href="https://cprc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/CPRC-Singled-Out-Final-Feb-2024.pdf">vague wording</a> and data descriptions which <a href="https://theconversation.com/70-of-australians-dont-feel-in-control-of-their-data-as-companies-hide-behind-meaningless-privacy-terms-224072">confuse consumers</a> and have no fixed meaning. These include “pseudonymised information”, “hashed email addresses”, “aggregated information” and “advertising ID”.</p> <p>Privacy terms are also presented on a “take it or leave it” basis, even for transactions like applying for a rental property or buying insurance.</p> <p>The ACCC pointed out 41% of Australians feel they have been <a href="https://www.choice.com.au/consumers-and-data/data-collection-and-use/how-your-data-is-used/articles/choice-renttech-report-release">pressured to use “rent tech” platforms</a>. These platforms collect an increasing range of information with questionable connection to renting.</p> <h2>A first for Australian consumers</h2> <p>This is the first time an Australian regulator has made an in-depth report on the consumer data practices of data brokers, which are generally hidden from consumers. It comes <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/data-brokers-call-transparency-accountability-report-federal-trade-commission-may-2014/140527databrokerreport.pdf">ten years after</a> the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) conducted a similar inquiry into data brokers in the US.</p> <p>The ACCC report examined the data practices of nine data brokers and other “data firms” operating in Australia. (It added the term “data firms” because some companies sharing data about people argue that they are not data brokers.)</p> <p>A big difference between the Australian and the US reports is that the FTC is both the consumer watchdog and the <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2312913">privacy regulator</a>. As our competition and consumer watchdog, the ACCC is meant to focus on competition and consumer issues.</p> <p>We also need our privacy regulator, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), to pay attention to these findings.</p> <h2>There’s a law against that</h2> <p>The ACCC report shows many examples of businesses collecting personal information about us from third parties. For example, you may be a customer of a business that only has your name and email address. But that business can purchase “<a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4224653">data enrichment</a>” services from a data broker to find out your age range, income range and family situation.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/C2004A03712/latest/text">current Privacy Act</a> includes <a href="https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/australian-privacy-principles/read-the-australian-privacy-principles">a principle</a> that organisations must collect personal information only from the individual (you) unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so. “Impracticable” means practically impossible. This is the direct collection rule.</p> <p>Yet there is no reported case of the privacy commissioner enforcing the direct collection rule against a data broker or its business customers. Nor has the OAIC issued any specific guidance in this respect. It should do both.</p> <h2>Time to update our privacy laws</h2> <p>Our privacy law was drafted in 1988, long before this complex web of digital data practices emerged. Privacy laws in places such as California and the European Union provide much stronger protections.</p> <p>The government has <a href="https://ministers.ag.gov.au/media-centre/speeches/privacy-design-awards-2024-02-05-2024">announced</a> it plans to introduce a privacy law reform bill this August.</p> <p>The ACCC report reinforces the need for vital amendments, including a direct right of action for individuals and a rule requiring dealings in personal information to be “fair and reasonable”.<!-- 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/230540/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/katharine-kemp-402096">Katharine Kemp</a>, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law &amp; Justice, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/worried-your-address-birth-date-or-health-data-is-being-sold-you-should-be-and-the-law-isnt-protecting-you-230540">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

What happens if you want access to voluntary assisted dying but your nursing home won’t let you?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/neera-bhatia-15189">Neera Bhatia</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charles-corke-167297">Charles Corke</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>Voluntary assisted dying is now lawful in <a href="https://theconversation.com/voluntary-assisted-dying-will-soon-be-legal-in-all-states-heres-whats-just-happened-in-nsw-and-what-it-means-for-you-183355">all Australian states</a>. There is also <a href="https://nationalseniors.com.au/uploads/VAD-Report-correct-month-12.8.21.pdf">widespread community support</a> for it.</p> <p>Yet some residential institutions, such as hospices and aged-care facilities, are obstructing access despite the law not specifying whether they have the legal right to do so.</p> <p>As voluntary assisted dying is implemented across the country, institutions blocking access to it will likely become more of an issue.</p> <p>So addressing this will help everyone – institutions, staff, families and, most importantly, people dying in institutions who wish to have control of their end.</p> <h2>The many ways to block access</h2> <p>While voluntary assisted dying legislation recognises the right of doctors to <a href="https://theconversation.com/was-take-on-assisted-dying-has-many-similarities-with-the-victorian-law-and-some-important-differences-121554">conscientiously object</a> to it, the law is generally silent on the rights of institutions to do so.</p> <p>While the institution where someone lives has no legislated role in voluntary assisted dying, it can refuse access in various ways, including:</p> <ul> <li> <p>restricting staff responding to a discussion a resident initiates about voluntary assisted dying</p> </li> <li> <p>refusing access to health professionals to facilitate it, and</p> </li> <li> <p>requiring people who wish to pursue the option to leave the facility.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Here’s what happened to ‘Mary’</h2> <p>Here is a hypothetical example based on cases one of us (Charles Corke) has learned of via his role at Victoria’s <a href="https://www.safercare.vic.gov.au/about/vadrb">Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board</a>.</p> <p>We have chosen to combine several different cases into one, to respect the confidentiality of the individuals and organisations involved.</p> <p>“Mary” was a 72-year-old widow who moved into a private aged-care facility when she could no longer manage independently in her own home due to advanced lung disease.</p> <p>While her intellect remained intact, she accepted she had reached a stage at which she needed significant assistance. She appreciated the help she received. She liked the staff and they liked her.</p> <p>After a year in the facility, during which time her lung disease got much worse, Mary decided she wanted access to voluntary assisted dying. Her children were supportive, particularly as this desire was consistent with Mary’s longstanding views.</p> <p>Mary was open about her wish with the nursing home staff she felt were her friends.</p> <p>The executive management of the nursing home heard of her intentions. This resulted in a visit at which Mary was told, in no uncertain terms, her wish to access voluntary assisted dying would not be allowed. She would be required to move out, unless she agreed to change her mind.</p> <p>Mary was upset. Her family was furious. She really didn’t want to move, but really wanted to continue with voluntary assisted dying “in her current home” (as she saw it).</p> <p>Mary decided to continue with her wish. Her family took her to see two doctors registered to provide assessments for voluntary assisted dying, who didn’t work at the facility. Mary was deemed eligible and the permit was granted. Two pharmacists visited Mary at the nursing home, gave her the medication and instructed her how to mix it and take it.</p> <p>These actions required no active participation from the nursing home or its staff.</p> <p>Family and friends arranged to visit at the time Mary indicated she planned to take the medication. She died peacefully, on her own terms, as she wished. The family informed the nursing home staff their mother had died. Neither family nor staff mentioned voluntary assisted dying.</p> <h2>Staff are in a difficult position too</h2> <p>There is widespread community support for voluntary assisted dying. In a 2021 survey by National Seniors Australia, <a href="https://nationalseniors.com.au/uploads/VAD-Report-correct-month-12.8.21.pdf">more than 85%</a> of seniors agreed it should be available.</p> <p>So it’s likely there will be staff who are supportive in most institutions. For instance, in a survey of attitudes to voluntary assisted dying in a large public tertiary hospital, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/imj.15285">88% of staff</a> supported it becoming lawful.</p> <p>So a blanket policy to refuse dying patients access to voluntary assisted dying is likely to place staff in a difficult position. An institution risks creating a toxic workplace culture, in which clandestine communication and fear become entrenched.</p> <h2>What could we do better?</h2> <p><strong>1. Institutions need to be up-front about their policies</strong></p> <p>Institutions need to be completely open about their policies on voluntary assisted dying and whether they would obstruct any such request in the future. This is so patients and families can factor this into deciding on an institution in the first place.</p> <p><strong>2. Institutions need to consult their stakeholders</strong></p> <p>Institutions should consult their stakeholders about their policy with a view to creating a “<a href="https://bmcpalliatcare.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12904-021-00891-3">safe</a>” environment for residents and staff – for those who want access to voluntary assisted dying or who wish to support it, and for those who don’t want it and find it confronting.</p> <p><strong>3. Laws need to change</strong></p> <p>Future legislation should define the extent of an institution’s right to obstruct a resident’s right to access voluntary assisted dying.</p> <p>There should be safeguards in all states (as is already legislated <a href="https://documents.parliament.qld.gov.au/tp/2021/5721T707.pdf">in Queensland</a>), including the ability for individuals to be referred in sufficient time to another institution, should they wish to access voluntary assisted dying.</p> <p>Other states should consider whether it is reasonable to permit a resident, who does not wish to move, to be able to stay and proceed with their wish, without direct involvement of the institution.</p> <hr /> <p><em>The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/183364/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/neera-bhatia-15189">Neera Bhatia</a>, Associate Professor in Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charles-corke-167297">Charles Corke</a>, Associate Professor of Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin 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/what-happens-if-you-want-access-to-voluntary-assisted-dying-but-your-nursing-home-wont-let-you-183364">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Menopause can bring increased cholesterol levels and other heart risks. Here’s why and what to do about it

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/treasure-mcguire-135225">Treasure McGuire</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p>Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years, typically between 45 and 55. As women approach or experience menopause, common “change of life” <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9244939/">concerns</a> include hot flushes, sweats and mood swings, brain fog and fatigue.</p> <p>But many women may not be aware of the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32705886/">long-term effects</a> of menopause on the heart and blood vessels that make up the cardiovascular system. Heart disease accounts for <a href="http://world-heart-federation.org/what-we-do/women-cvd/">35% of deaths</a> in women each year – more than all cancers combined.</p> <p>What should women – and their doctors – know about these risks?</p> <h2>Hormones protect hearts – until they don’t</h2> <p>As early as 1976, the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/970770/">Framingham Heart Study</a> reported more than twice the rates of cardiovascular events in postmenopausal than pre-menopausal women of the same age. Early menopause (younger than age 40) also <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25331207/">increases heart risk</a>.</p> <p>Before menopause, women tend to be protected by their circulating hormones: oestrogen, to a lesser extent progesterone and low levels of testosterone.</p> <p>These sex hormones help to relax and dilate blood vessels, reduce inflammation and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10503403/">improve lipid (cholesterol) levels</a>. From the mid-40s, a decline in these hormone levels can <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10362825/">contribute to unfavourable changes</a> in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight gain – all risk factors for heart disease.</p> <h2>4 ways hormone changes impact heart risk</h2> <p><strong>1. Dyslipidaemia</strong>– Menopause often involves <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002671/">atherogenic changes</a> – an unhealthy imbalance of lipids in the blood, with higher levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C), dubbed the “bad” cholesterol. There are also reduced levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) – the “good” cholesterol that helps remove LDL-C from blood. These changes are a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10503403/">major risk factor for heart attack or stroke</a>.</p> <p><strong>2. Hypertension</strong> – Declines in oestrogen and progesterone levels during menopause contribute to narrowing of the large blood vessels on the heart’s surface, arterial stiffness and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35722103/">raise blood pressure</a>.</p> <p><strong>3. Weight gain</strong> – Females are born with one to two million eggs, which develop in follicles. By the time they <a href="https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/fertility-information/getting-pregnant/ovulation-and-conception">stop ovulating</a> in midlife, fewer than 1,000 remain. This depletion progressively changes fat distribution and storage, from the hips to the waist and abdomen. Increased waist circumference (greater than 80–88 cm) has been <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18359190/">reported to contribute to heart risk</a> – though it is <a href="https://theconversation.com/good-news-midlife-health-is-about-more-than-a-waist-measurement-heres-why-226019">not the only factor to consider</a>.</p> <p><strong>4. Comorbidities</strong> – Changes in body composition, sex hormone decline, increased food consumption, weight gain and sedentary lifestyles impair the body’s ability to effectively use insulin. This <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11133069/">increases the risk</a> of developing metabolic syndromes such as type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>While risk factors apply to both genders, hypertension, smoking, obesity and type 2 diabetes confer a greater relative risk for heart disease in women.</p> <h2>So, what can women do?</h2> <p>Every woman has a different level of baseline cardiovascular and metabolic risk pre-menopause. This is based on their genetics and family history, diet, and lifestyle. But all women can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8351755/">reduce their post-menopause heart risk with</a>:</p> <ul> <li>regular moderate intensity exercise such as brisk walking, pushing a lawn mower, riding a bike or water aerobics for 30 minutes, four or five times every week</li> <li>a healthy heart diet with smaller portion sizes (try using a smaller plate or bowl) and more low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, fruit and whole grains</li> <li>plant sterols (unrefined vegetable oil spreads, nuts, seeds and grains) each day. A review of 14 clinical trials found plant sterols, at doses of at least 2 grams a day, produced an average reduction in serum LDL-C (bad cholesterol) of about 9–14%. This could reduce the risk of heart disease by <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10731187/">25% in two years</a></li> <li>less unhealthy (saturated or trans) fats and more low-fat protein sources (lean meat, poultry, fish – especially oily fish high in omega-3 fatty acids), legumes and low-fat dairy</li> <li>less high-calorie, high-sodium foods such as processed or fast foods</li> <li>a reduction or cessation of smoking (nicotine or cannabis) and alcohol</li> <li>weight-gain management or prevention.</li> </ul> <h2>What about hormone therapy medications?</h2> <p>Hormone therapy remains the most effective means of <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15495039/">managing hot flushes and night sweats</a> and is beneficial for <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18418063/">slowing the loss of bone mineral density</a>.</p> <p>The decision to recommend oestrogen alone or a combination of oestrogen plus progesterone hormone therapy depends on whether a woman has had a hysterectomy or not. The choice also depends on whether the hormone therapy benefit outweighs the woman’s disease risks. Where symptoms are bothersome, hormone therapy has <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33841322/">favourable or neutral effects on coronary heart disease risk</a> and medication risks are low for healthy women younger than 60 or within ten years of menopause.</p> <p>Depending on the level of stroke or heart risk and the response to lifestyle strategies, some women may also require medication management to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8351755/">control high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol levels</a>. Up until the early 2000s, women were underrepresented in most outcome trials with lipid-lowering medicines.</p> <p>The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25579834/">Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration</a> analysed 27 clinical trials of statins (medications commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol) with a total of 174,000 participants, of whom 27% were women. Statins were about as effective in women and men who had similar risk of heart disease in preventing events such as stroke and heart attack.</p> <p>Every woman approaching menopause should ask their GP for a 20-minute <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/news/heart-health">Heart Health Check</a> to help better understand their risk of a heart attack or stroke and get tailored strategies to reduce it.<!-- 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/treasure-mcguire-135225">Treasure McGuire</a>, Assistant Director of Pharmacy, Mater Health SEQ in conjoint appointment as Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Bond University and as Associate Professor (Clinical), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</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/menopause-can-bring-increased-cholesterol-levels-and-other-heart-risks-heres-why-and-what-to-do-about-it-228010">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Air travel exposes you to radiation – how much health risk comes with it?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/timothy-j-jorgensen-239253">Timothy J. Jorgensen</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/georgetown-university-1239">Georgetown University</a></em></p> <p>In 2017, <a href="http://www.independent.ie/business/world/18-million-miles-and-counting-the-globes-top-business-traveller-35666790.html">business traveler Tom Stuker</a> was hailed as the world’s most frequent flyer, logging 18,000,000 miles of air travel on United Airlines over 14 years.</p> <p>That’s a lot of time up in the air. If Stuker’s traveling behaviors are typical of other business flyers, he may have eaten 6,500 <a href="http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=689041">inflight meals</a>, drunk 5,250 <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1708-8305.2009.00339.x">alcoholic beverages</a>, watched thousands of <a href="http://www.iata.org/publications/store/Pages/global-passenger-survey.aspx">inflight movies</a> and made around 10,000 visits to <a href="http://blog.thetravelinsider.info/2012/11/how-many-restrooms-are-enough-on-a-plane.html">airplane toilets</a>.</p> <p>He would also have accumulated a radiation dose equivalent to about 1,000 <a href="https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=safety-xray">chest x-rays</a>. But what kind of health risk does all that radiation actually pose?</p> <h2>Cosmic rays coming at you</h2> <p>You might guess that a frequent flyer’s radiation dose is coming from the airport security checkpoints, with their whole-body scanners and baggage x-ray machines, but you’d be wrong. The <a href="http://www.aapm.org/publicgeneral/AirportScannersPressRelease.asp">radiation doses to passengers from these security procedures</a> are trivial.</p> <p>The major source of radiation exposure from air travel comes from the flight itself. This is because at high altitude the <a href="http://www.altitude.org/why_less_oxygen.php">air gets thinner</a>. The farther you go from the Earth’s surface, the fewer molecules of gas there are per volume of space. Thinner air thus means fewer molecules to deflect incoming <a href="http://www.space.com/32644-cosmic-rays.html">cosmic rays</a> – radiation from outer space. With less <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/earth/atmosphere_and_climate/atmosphere">atmospheric shielding</a>, there is more exposure to radiation.</p> <p>The most extreme situation is for astronauts who travel entirely outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and enjoy none of its protective shielding. Consequently, they receive high radiation doses. In fact, it is the accumulation of radiation dose that is the limiting factor for the maximum length of manned space flights. Too long in space and <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/hrp/bodyinspace">astronauts risk cataracts, cancer and potential heart ailments</a> when they get back home.</p> <p>Indeed, it’s the radiation dose problem that is a major spoiler for <a href="http://www.space.com/34210-elon-musk-unveils-spacex-mars-colony-ship.html">Elon Musk’s goal of inhabiting Mars</a>. An extended stay on Mars, with its <a href="http://www.space.com/16903-mars-atmosphere-climate-weather.html">extremely thin atmosphere</a>, would be lethal due to the high radiation doses, notwithstanding Matt Damon’s successful Mars colonization in the movie <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej3ioOneTy8">“The Martian</a>.”</p> <h2>Radiation risks of ultra frequent flying</h2> <p>What would be Stuker’s cumulative radiation dose and what are his health risks?</p> <p>It depends entirely on how much time he has spent in the air. Assuming an <a href="http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2002/JobyJosekutty.shtml">average flight speed</a> (550 mph), Stuker’s 18,000,000 miles would translate into 32,727 hours (3.7 years) of flight time. The radiation dose rate at typical <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-truths/why-do-planes-fly-so-high-feet/">commercial airline flight altitude</a> (35,000 feet) is about <a href="https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/commercialflights.html">0.003 millisieverts per hour</a>. (As I explain in my book <a href="http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10691.html">“Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation</a>,” a millisievert or mSv is a unit of radiation dose that can be used to estimate cancer risk.) By multiplying the dose rate by the hours of flight time, we can see that Stuker has earned himself about 100 mSv of radiation dose, in addition to a lot of free airline tickets. But what does that mean for his health?</p> <p>The primary health threat at this dose level is an increased risk of some type of cancer later in life. Studies of atomic bomb victims, nuclear workers and medical radiation patients have <a href="https://doi.org/10.17226/11340">allowed scientists to estimate the cancer risk</a> for any particular radiation dose.</p> <p>All else being equal and assuming that low doses have risk levels proportionate to high doses, then an overall cancer risk rate of <a href="http://www.imagewisely.org/imaging-modalities/computed-tomography/medical-physicists/articles/how-to-understand-and-communicate-radiation-risk">0.005 percent per mSv</a> is a reasonable and commonly used estimate. Thus, Stuker’s 100-mSv dose would increase his lifetime risk of contracting a potentially fatal cancer by about 0.5 percent.</p> <h2>Contextualizing the risk</h2> <p>The question then becomes whether that’s a high level of risk. Your own feeling might depend on how you see your background cancer risk.</p> <p>Most people <a href="http://www.who.int/whr/2002/chapter3/en/index4.html">underestimate their personal risk of dying from cancer</a>. Although the exact number is debatable, it’s fair to say that <a href="https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/lifetime-probability-of-developing-or-dying-from-cancer.html">about 25 percent of men ultimately contract a potentially fatal cancer</a>. Stuker’s 0.5 percent cancer risk from radiation should be added to his baseline risk – so it would go from 25 percent to 25.5 percent. A cancer risk increase of that size is too small to actually measure in any scientific way, so it must remain a theoretical increase in risk.</p> <p>A 0.5 percent increase in risk is the same as one chance in 200 of getting cancer. In other words, if 200 male travelers logged 18,000,000 miles of air travel, like Stuker did, we might expect just one of them to contract a cancer thanks to his flight time. The other 199 travelers would suffer no health effects. So the chances that Stuker is the specific 18-million-mile traveler who would be so unlucky is quite small.</p> <p>Stuker was logging more air hours per year (greater than 2,000) than most pilots typically log (<a href="http://work.chron.com/duty-limitations-faa-pilot-17646.html">under 1,000</a>). So these airline workers would have risk levels proportionately lower than Stuker’s. But what about you?</p> <p>If you want to know your personal cancer risk from flying, estimate all of your commercial airline miles over the years. Assuming that the values and parameters for speed, radiation dose and risk stated above for Stuker are also true for you, dividing your total miles by 3,700,000,000 will give your approximate odds of getting cancer from your flying time.</p> <p>For example, let’s pretend that you have a mathematically convenient 370,000 total flying miles. That would mean 370,000 miles divided by 3,700,000,000, which comes out to be 1/10,000 odds of contracting cancer (or a 0.01 percent increase in risk). Most people do not fly 370,000 miles (equal to 150 flights from Los Angeles to New York) within their lifetimes. So for the average flyer, the increased risk is far less than 0.01 percent.</p> <p>To make your exercise complete, make a list of all the benefits that you’ve derived from your air travel over your lifetime (job opportunities, vacation travel, family visits and so on) and go back and look at your increased cancer risk again. If you think your benefits have been meager compared to your elevated cancer risk, maybe its time to rethink flying. But for many people today, flying is a necessity of life, and the small elevated cancer risk is worth the price.<!-- 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/78790/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/timothy-j-jorgensen-239253">Timothy J. Jorgensen</a>, Director of the Health Physics and Radiation Protection Graduate Program and Professor of Radiation Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/georgetown-university-1239">Georgetown 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/air-travel-exposes-you-to-radiation-how-much-health-risk-comes-with-it-78790">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Can you control your image? Gina Rinehart, King Charles and ‘moral portraits'

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/roger-benjamin-119535">Roger Benjamin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>“She’s no oil painting”.</p> <p>Those were the unkind words of a colleague commenting on the subject of Vincent Namatjira’s acrylic painting, Gina. Every one of the prominent Australians and cultural heroes in Namatjira’s ensemble <a href="https://theconversation.com/vincent-namatjiras-paintbrush-is-his-weapon-with-an-infectious-energy-and-wry-humour-nothing-is-off-limits-217361">Australia in Colour</a> (2021) is subject to his trademark distortions.</p> <p>When the painter gets to work interpreting the press photographs that his main source, resemblance is always stretched. No one comes out unscathed: Tony Abbott looks just as scary as Angus Young from AC/DC; a grimacing Queen Elizabeth as grisly as a roaring Cathy Freeman. Indeed, in the <a href="https://thamesandhudson.com.au/product/vincent-namatjira/">2023 volume on Namatjira</a> there are no fewer than four paintings of Gina Rinehart – and they look like four different people.</p> <p>Do we expect a portrait to be a moral <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physiognomy">physiognomy</a>, the ancient pseudoscience that assumes the way someone has lived their life shapes their features and appearance?</p> <p>Roman emperors were shown to be ideal types: the heroic portrait. Who knows what these men actually looked like? In the case of King Charles III, whose <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-68981200">new portrait</a> by Jonathon Yeo was unveiled this week, we can compare his likeness to the myriad photographic and filmic images.</p> <p>Newspaper caricature, <a href="https://firstamendmentmuseum.org/exhibits/virtual-exhibits/art-politics-300-years-of-political-cartoons/political-cartoons-part-1-1720-1800/">popular since the 1700s</a>, works hard to point out imperfections, posit animal likenesses, and exaggerate specific facial features to satirise public figures.</p> <p>Namatjira brushes with caricature even when depicting himself.</p> <h2>Can you control your image?</h2> <p>I think Rinehart should be flattered to be one of Namatjira’s favourites. The wits in the twittersphere have in the past 24 hours shown several more of his Ginas, and it turns out there are also at least half a dozen colour portraits of her by other artists.</p> <p>They range from <a href="https://scottmarsh.com.au/products/mothers-milk">Scottie Marsh’s mural</a> on a Sydney wall of a matronly Rinehart giving the breast to infant Barnaby Joyce (with apologies to Raphael), to Xavier Ghazi’s demonic hard-hatted Gina <a href="https://citynews.com.au/2023/bald-archy-prize-heading-for-immortality/">giving Australians the finger</a> – it’s in newspaper caricature mode, his entry in the Bald Archies competition for 2023.</p> <p>Although Rinehart has reportedly called for Namatjira’s painting to be taken down, the initiative <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/culture/art-and-design/gold-medallist-led-campaign-to-take-down-gina-rinehart-portrait-20240516-p5je1y.html">apparently comes</a> from members of the Australian swimming team and their former coach (Rinehart is that sport’s major private sponsor).</p> <p>I suspect their discomfort comes from reading Namatjira’s Gina as a moral portrait; that is, ugliness of appearance projects an ugly spirit (whereas for them she is the epitome of generosity).</p> <p>It’s an interesting idea that the fresh-faced teenage daughter of Lang Hancock in <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/abcs-australian-story-focuses-on-gina-rineharts-bond-with-father-lang-hancock-20150706-gi6h1f.html">old news photos</a> has changed not just because times takes beauty away (as we all know), but because of the impact of things she inherited from her father: not just the extreme wealth and the jawline, but the conservative views, and the ways she has used her money and power.</p> <p>Her control of vast tracts of (unceded) grazing land across western and central Australia give reason to reflect on what Western Aranda man Namatjira might think of her.</p> <h2>And yet what about commissions?</h2> <p>When can a sitter control their portrait image? Only when they commission the work. Art history has plenty of cases in which a sitter has rejected their portrait. Monet in the 1860s painted his brother Leon, who so disliked the canvas he locked it in an attic, from which it emerged 150 years later.</p> <p>Portrait paintings have had to be altered, payment refused, or be paid for then destroyed. The commissioned portrait, it’s assumed, must flatter the sitter or at least offer a fair and non-judgemental likeness.</p> <p>The British royal family has historically been very forgiving about portraits, and has the sophistication to know it is futile to protest a likeness. Doing so invokes the perverse “<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect">Streisand effect</a>”, as we see happening with Namatjira’s Gina.</p> <p>There are dozens of depictions of Elizabeth II and Charles III in Namatjira’s pantheon – including one of the late queen alongside Rinehart in Australia in Colour. Namatjira has a family link to Elizabeth and Prince Philip, who met Albert Namatjira (the painter’s great grandfather) on their 1954 tour of Australia.</p> <p>But no one is asking for Queen Bess to be removed from the National Gallery of Australia.</p> <p>As a mark of <em>noblesse oblige</em>, King Charles has accepted the newly unveiled commissioned portrait of himself by Jonathon Yeo. It is an absolute shocker, and he should have sent it back.</p> <p>The King, de-aged by 20 years, looks pleasantly out at us from a floor-to-ceiling fog of strawberry- and cerise-coloured paint that covers his dress uniform. The joke, of course, is that the red colouration can be read as a reference to “<a href="https://time.com/6226657/crown-charles-camilla-tampongate/">tampongate</a>”, the product of an infamous case of tabloid phone-hacking in 1993.</p> <p>It’s a case of a portrait generating an unintended consequence – just as Namatjira surely did not expect to provoke international headlines today with his Gina, whom he’s been depicting for years.</p> <p>Fittingly, wise heads have rejected calls for the gallery to remove the canvas, starting with director Nick Mitzevich’s <a href="https://amp.smh.com.au/culture/art-and-design/portrait-gina-rinehart-doesn-t-want-you-to-see-mogul-demands-national-gallery-remove-her-image-20240513-p5jd59.html">measured statement</a>, seconded by the National Association for the Visual Arts whose <a href="https://visualarts.net.au/news-opinion/2024/nava-defends-vincent-namatjiras-artistic-freedom-amid-demands-removal-nga/">press release</a> insists on freedom of expression.</p> <p>Finally, late yesterday, Namatjira, resisting myriad calls for interviews, issued a statement in the pithy mode of his book texts. Let him have the last word:</p> <blockquote> <p>I paint people who are wealthy, powerful, or significant – people who have had an influence on this country, and on me personally, whether directly or indirectly, whether for good or for bad. Some people might not like it, other people might find it funny, but I hope people look beneath the surface and see the serious side too.<!-- 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/230297/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> </blockquote> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/roger-benjamin-119535"><em>Roger Benjamin</em></a><em>, Professor in Art History, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: X (Twitter)</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/can-you-control-your-image-gina-rinehart-king-charles-and-moral-portraits-230297">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

5 reasons art therapy is great for your mental health as you age

<p><span style="background: white;">We know how important it is to look after our<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/servicesandsupport/healthy-and-active-ageing"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">physical health</span></strong></a><span style="background: white;"> as we age, but our mental health is equally important. </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://aifs.gov.au/resources/short-articles/normalising-mental-illness-older-adults-barrier-care"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">Studies have shown</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">that besides the immediate impact on wellbeing, older people with untreated mental ill health are at risk of poorer overall health, increased hospital admissions, and an earlier transition into aged care.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Art therapy is an excellent way to boost our mental wellbeing. In a nutshell, this type of therapy is when visual art, such as drawing, sculpting, or collage, is used in a<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.rtor.org/2018/07/10/benefits-of-art-therapy/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">therapeutic context</span></strong></a><span style="background: white;">. And don’t be put off if you haven’t picked up a paintbrush since you were a kid. Art therapy is not about creating works of beauty but about the process. It’s a completely </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://cata.org.au/faqs-myth-busters/#:~:text=The%20focus%20of%20Creative%20Art,%2C%20growth%20and%20self%2Dawareness.&amp;text=Reality%3A%20Creative%20Art%20Therapy%20does,to%20affect%20change%20and%20growth."><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">judgement free zone</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;">!</span></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="background: white;">Emotional release:</span></strong></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Growing up, many of us were never taught that it was okay to express how we’re feeling, especially emotions like anger and sadness. In that way, art therapy can be ideal us older folks who often feel stuck when it comes to expressing ourselves. Art therapy provides the opportunity to express our<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://creativityintherapy.com/2017/06/expressing-emotions-creativity-6-step-art-process/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">inner experiences</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">in a visual way. Through the act of creation, we can release pent-up feelings, reduce stress, and experience emotional release.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Another challenging emotion that art therapy can help with is grief. As we age, we are more likely to experience the<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.nari.net.au/the-impact-of-prolonged-grief-in-older-people"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">loss of a loved one</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">and we don’t get ‘used to it’. The hole it leaves in our hearts is just as dark. Through<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.vivianpaans.com.au/blog/healing-through-art-how-art-therapy-can-help-with-grief-and-wellbeing"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">creating art</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">we can explore the feelings of grief and sadness in a safe, judgement-free space. It can also foster a sense of self-compassion and when we have more compassion for ourselves, it becomes easier to accept our emotions.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="background: white;">Stress relief:</span></strong></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.sane.org/information-and-resources/facts-and-guides/facts-mental-health-issues"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">Anxiety, depression, and past traumas</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">can heavily impact on our daily lives. Risk factors over our lifespans may change but they don’t magically disappear once we hit a certain age. Illness, grief, financial stress, social isolation, and life transitions such as menopause can all be </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/older-people-and-mental-health"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">contributing factors</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">of poor mental health for older adults. Creating art can ease symptoms as we refocus on what we’re creating and move thoughts away from overthinking and worry.<strong> </strong>Creating art releases </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.rtor.org/2018/07/10/benefits-of-art-therapy/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">dopamine</span></strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">,</span></a><span style="background: white;"> the chemical responsible for allowing us to feel pleasure and satisfaction. This further reduces bothersome symptoms of anxiety and depression.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Also, participating in art therapy leads to a more creative brain. A creative brain is better equipped to create stress-relieving techniques for other areas of our lives. Through creating art, we draw the fears that are inside our minds. This takes them out of our heads and places them away from us, helping us feel more in control.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Recovering from<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.interrelate.org.au/news-media/blogs/november-2021/how-art-can-heal-trauma"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">trauma</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> c</span></strong><span style="background: white;">an be a lifelong process for many, and it’s important for someone dealing with it to find tools that will help this process. Art therapy can be one of those as it can give a sense of agency and self-understanding through the ability to express feelings symbolically. This can give </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://anzacata.org/About-CAT"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">new perspectives</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">of ourselves and our worldview which is essential in the recovery process. It can also help connect with deeply stored emotions and help process them.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="background: white;">Self-discovery:</span></strong></p> <p><span style="background: white;">When we are younger we are often so busy working, socialising, and raising a family many of us never get a chance to take the time out for<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.visionpsychology.com/starting-the-process-of-self-discovery/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">self-discovery</span></strong></a><span style="background: white;">. Self-discovery is important in our lives as it gives us a clearer sense of purpose and direction in life. In turn, this leads to making better decisions that lead to our overall happiness.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Some of us see our kids leave home and suddenly we’re left wondering, who am I when I don’t have a family to care for? Creating art can help us acknowledge and recognise feelings that have been suppressed in our subconscious. Through learning to use different techniques of art our minds open up to thinking more freely. Self-discovery comes from both the finished product we create as well as the process of making it.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="background: white;">Self-esteem:</span></strong></p> <p><span style="background: white;">As we age, it’s easy to look in the mirror and struggle to recognise the person we see. Our bodies are changing, and it can often feel like society doesn’t value us as much as when we were young. It can be a major shift in the way we view ourselves and lead to poor self-esteem. Art therapy teaches us how to use a variety of media to create something new. We can develop talents and see strengths as we master new materials and see the completion of projects. This sense of accomplishment can be a big leg up to our<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://artbusinessnews.com/2022/01/benefits-of-art-therapy/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">self-esteem.</span></strong></a></p> <p><strong><span style="background: white;">A sense of community:</span></strong></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://likefamily.com.au/blog/what-is-loneliness-and-how-does-it-affect-someone/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">Loneliness</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">is a big contributor to poor mental health.<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.psychiatrist.com/news/study-why-older-people-feel-so-lonely/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">Studies</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">show two groups of people are most at risk: young adults and older people. With factors at our age such as children leaving home, not working as much or at all, living alone, and chronic illness, it’s easy to see how loneliness can creep into our lives. Group art therapy is a wonderful way to connect with others. We share a space with those who have similar interests, and it gives us a sense of belonging. For those who can't make a session in person due to distance or illness, some therapists offer </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.artandplaytherapytraining.com.au/art_therapy"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">online group art therapy</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;">.</span></strong></p> <p><span style="background: white;">You don’t need to see an art therapist to get the mental health benefits of creating art. But the advantage of that is they have the skills to work out what best suits your needs. They’ll also work with you through any tough emotions that may arise from your art therapy.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">So maybe it’s time to hide those new coloured pencils from the little ones, crack them open, and enjoy them yourself!</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">If you’d like to find out more about art therapy sessions, the links below are helpful. They offer online, in person and group sessions.</span></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.zevaarttherapy.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">https://www.zevaarttherapy.com/</span></a></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.alliedarttherapy.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">https://www.alliedarttherapy.com.au/</span></a></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.solacecreativetherapies.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">https://www.solacecreativetherapies.com.au/</span></a><span style="background: white;"> </span></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://cata.org.au/programs-ndis/online-creative-art-therapy/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">https://cata.org.au/programs-ndis/online-creative-art-therapy/</span></a><span style="background: white;"> </span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">And for some more ideas on dabbling in art therapy on your own (or with a friend), check out Shelley Klammer’s amazing resources. She is US-based but has some online workshops that are also amazing:</span></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.expressiveartworkshops.com/expressive-art-resources/100-art-therapy-exercises/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">https://www.expressiveartworkshops.com/expressive-art-resources/100-art-therapy-exercises/</span></a></p> <p><em>Article written by Kylie Carberry</em></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Do red bags get loaded onto a plane first? Travel hack goes viral

<p>One TikTok user has racked up over 75 million views for their hack which warns travellers against buying red suitcases.</p> <p>The reason behind it? He claims that red suitcases are always loaded onto a plane first - meaning that they will be the last ones to come out at the baggage carousel. </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@airportlife_/video/7359248989134327072" target="_blank" rel="noopener">viral video</a> showed a plane's cargo being loaded, with all the red bags being loaded first. </p> <p>Many commenters have shared their theories on why this might be the case. </p> <p>"If the red are at the back then they are less likely to get left behind when unloading," one wrote. </p> <p>"So that it's easier to check if there is any bag left at end corner of loading area and prevent missing out black bags at dark corners, maybe," another added. </p> <p>However, a spokesperson for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has debunked this theory and claimed that the video is "nonsense" and "was made purposefully to mislead or provide false information".</p> <p>They also said that there was simply not enough time for their baggage handlers to sort suitcases out by colour. </p> <p>The question of "Do red bags get loaded onto a plane first?" also made its way to Reddit, after the video went viral, and one user who claimed to be a ramp worker denied the theory. </p> <p>"If we had taken the time and brain power to load bags based on colour I'd still be loading flights from 2015." </p> <p><em>Image: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Tips

Placeholder Content Image

Longer appointments are just the start of tackling the gender pain gap. Here are 4 more things we can do

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michelle-oshea-457947">Michelle O'Shea</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hannah-adler-1533549">Hannah Adler</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marilla-l-druitt-1533572">Marilla L. Druitt</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mike-armour-391382">Mike Armour</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p>Ahead of the federal budget, health minister Mark Butler <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-05-10/endometriosis-australia-welcomes-govt-funding-for-endometriosis/103830392">last week announced</a> an investment of A$49.1 million to help women with endometriosis and complex gynaecological conditions such as chronic pelvic pain and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).</p> <p>From July 1 2025 <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-mark-butler-mp/media/historic-medicare-changes-for-women-battling-endometriosis">two new items</a> will be added to the Medicare Benefits Schedule providing extended consultation times and higher rebates for specialist gynaecological care.</p> <p>The Medicare changes <a href="https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/longer-consults-for-endometriosis-sufferers-on-the">will subsidise</a> $168.60 for a minimum of 45 minutes during a longer initial gynaecologist consultation, compared to the standard rate of $95.60. For follow-up consultations, Medicare will cover $84.35 for a minimum of 45 minutes, compared to the standard rate of $48.05.</p> <p>Currently, there’s <a href="https://www9.health.gov.au/mbs/fullDisplay.cfm?type=item&amp;q=104&amp;qt=item&amp;criteria=104">no specified time</a> for these initial or subsequent consultations.</p> <p>But while reductions to out-of-pocket medical expenses and extended specialist consultation times are welcome news, they’re only a first step in closing the gender pain gap.</p> <h2>Chronic pain affects more women</h2> <p>Globally, research has shown chronic pain (generally defined as pain that persists for <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/chronic-pain">more than three months</a>) disproportionately affects <a href="https://academic.oup.com/bja/article/111/1/52/331232?login=false">women</a>. Multiple biological and psychosocial processes likely contribute to this disparity, often called the gender pain gap.</p> <p>For example, chronic pain is frequently associated with conditions influenced by <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304395914003868">hormones</a>, among other factors, such as endometriosis and <a href="https://theconversation.com/adenomyosis-causes-pain-heavy-periods-and-infertility-but-youve-probably-never-heard-of-it-104412">adenomyosis</a>. Chronic pelvic pain in women, regardless of the cause, can be debilitating and <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73389-2">negatively affect</a> every facet of life from social activities, to work and finances, to mental health and relationships.</p> <p>The gender pain gap is both rooted in and compounded by gender bias in medical research, treatment and social norms.</p> <p>The science that informs medicine – including the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease – has traditionally focused on men, thereby <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/apr/30/fda-clinical-trials-gender-gap-epa-nih-institute-of-medicine-cardiovascular-disease">failing to consider</a> the crucial impact of sex (biological) and gender (social) factors.</p> <p>When medical research adopts a “male as default” approach, this limits our understanding of pain conditions that predominantly affect women or how certain conditions affect men and women <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10921746/">differently</a>. It also means intersex, trans and gender-diverse people are <a href="https://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/news-and-media-releases/articles/world-class-centre-tackles-sex-and-gender-inequities-in-health-and-medicine">commonly excluded</a> from medical research and health care.</p> <p>Minimisation or dismissal of pain along with the <a href="https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/3467067/">normalisation of menstrual pain</a> as just “part of being a woman” contribute to significant delays and misdiagnosis of women’s gynaecological and other health issues. Feeling dismissed, along with perceptions of stigma, can make women less likely <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12905-024-03063-6">to seek help</a> in the future.</p> <h2>Inadequate medical care</h2> <p>Unfortunately, even when women with endometriosis do seek care, many <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/imj.15494?saml_referrer">aren’t satisfied</a>. This is understandable when medical advice includes being told to become pregnant to treat their <a href="https://bmcwomenshealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12905-023-02794-2">endometriosis</a>, despite <a href="https://academic.oup.com/humupd/article/24/3/290/4859612?login=false">no evidence</a> pregnancy reduces symptoms. Pregnancy should be an autonomous choice, not a treatment option.</p> <p>It’s unsurprising people look for information from other, often <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9032/12/1/121">uncredentialed</a>, sources. While online platforms including patient-led groups have provided women with new avenues of support, these forums should complement, rather than replace, <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1460458215602939">information from a doctor</a>.</p> <p>Longer Medicare-subsidised appointments are an important acknowledgement of women and their individual health needs. At present, many women feel their consultations with a gynaecologist are <a href="https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/longer-consults-for-endometriosis-sufferers-on-the">rushed</a>. These conversations, which often include coming to terms with a diagnosis and management plan, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1496869/">take time</a>.</p> <h2>A path toward less pain</h2> <p>While extended consultation time and reduced out-of-pocket costs are a step in the right direction, they are only one part of a complex pain puzzle.</p> <p>If women are not listened to, their symptoms not recognised, and effective treatment options not adequately discussed and provided, longer gynaecological consultations may not help patients. So what else do we need to do?</p> <p><strong>1. Physician knowledge</strong></p> <p>Doctors’ knowledge of women’s pain requires development through both practitioner <a href="https://health-policy-systems.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12961-022-00815-4/tables/2">education and guidelines</a>. This knowledge should also include dedicated efforts toward understanding the <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/07/02/the-neuroscience-of-pain">neuroscience of pain</a>.</p> <p>Diagnostic processes should be tailored to consider gender-specific symptoms and responses to <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(24)00137-8/fulltext">pain</a>.</p> <p><strong>2. Research and collaboration</strong></p> <p>Medical decisions should be based on the best and most inclusive evidence. Understanding the complexities of pain in women is essential for managing their pain. Collaboration between health-care experts from different disciplines can facilitate comprehensive and holistic pain research and management strategies.</p> <p><strong>3. Further care and service improvements</strong></p> <p>Women’s health requires multidisciplinary treatment and care which extends beyond their GP or specialist. For example, conditions like endometriosis often see people presenting to emergency departments in <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-disease/endometriosis-in-australia/contents/treatment-management/ed-presentations">acute pain</a>, so practitioners in these settings need to have the right knowledge and be able to provide support.</p> <p>Meanwhile, pelvic ultrasounds, especially the kind that have the potential to visualise endometriosis, take longer to perform and require a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0015028223020757/">specialist sonographer</a>. Current rebates do not reflect the time and expertise needed for these imaging procedures.</p> <p><strong>4. Adjusting the parameters of ‘women’s pain’</strong></p> <p>Conditions like PCOS and endometriosis don’t just affect women – they also impact people who are gender-diverse. Improving how people in this group are treated is just as salient as addressing how we treat women.</p> <p>Similarly, the gynaecological health-care needs of culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander women may be even <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/20/13/6321">less likely to be met</a> than those of women in the general population.</p> <h2>Challenging gender norms</h2> <p>Research suggests one of the keys to reducing the gender pain gap is challenging deeply embedded <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29682130/">gendered norms</a> in clinical practice and research.</p> <p>We are hearing women’s suffering. Let’s make sure we are also listening and responding in ways that close the gender pain gap.<!-- 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/229802/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/michelle-oshea-457947">Michelle O'Shea</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Business, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hannah-adler-1533549">Hannah Adler</a>, PhD candidate, health communication and health sociology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marilla-l-druitt-1533572">Marilla L. Druitt</a>, Affiliate Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mike-armour-391382">Mike Armour</a>, Associate Professor at NICM Health Research Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney 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/longer-appointments-are-just-the-start-of-tackling-the-gender-pain-gap-here-are-4-more-things-we-can-do-229802">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

"I am so lost without you": Sam Rubin's son speaks out

<p>Sam Rubin’s son has delivered an emotional on-air tribute to his late dad just days after his <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/legendary-today-show-reporter-dies-unexpectedly" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passing</a>. </p> <p>The entertainment reporter died unexpectedly at the age of 64, after reportedly suffering a heart attack in his Los Angeles home last Friday. </p> <p>He worked for LA TV station KTLA as their entertainment reporter, and was a regular guest on Aussie programs like<em> Today</em> and <em>Today Extra</em>. </p> <p>Colby Rubin, the youngest of the reporter's four children, joined KTLA 5 Morning News on Monday to reflect on his father's death. </p> <p>“Hi dad. I wrote this under the desk in your cubicle – only you weren’t there to wake me up this time. Dad, I can’t believe you’re gone,” the 16-year-old began. </p> <p>“I love you so much. On the day you died, I hope you heard me say that. You were the kindest soul, the light in every room. I can’t imagine my life without you... You were always there.”</p> <p>He said he idolised his father calling him his hero, and said: “I never got to tell you that, and I’m so sorry dad.”</p> <p>Colby then shared some of their private texts showing how encouraging his father was when he was unsure of himself, telling him: "You can do this,” and "you have every gift. Respect your own talent." </p> <p>At this point, Colby was overwhelmed with emotion, with the hosts telling him he could take a break but the teen powered on. </p> <p>“I can’t believe I’ve lost you. I had more of a father in 16 years than some people get in their entire lives, and I’m so grateful.</p> <p>"You are a beautiful human and you will never be forgotten. Dad I love you. I am so lost without you, I’ll miss you every day. I hope you know how loved you are.”</p> <p>Colby's tribute left his father's colleagues in tears with one co-host telling him simply: “He knew.”</p> <p>“He would be so proud of you. All of us are parents, we all can say – that is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard,” another said as she fought back tears. </p> <p>Viewers praised Colby for his “strength and composure” in delivering such an emotional tribute just days after losing his father. </p> <p>“Amazing how Colby was able to do this with such grace, strength, and composure. You can tell Sam was an amazing father through Colby’s tribute,” TV anchor Stephanie Myers wrote on X. </p> <p>Sam is survived by his wife Leslie and four children: Perry, 28, Rory, 23, Darcy, 18, and Colby.</p> <p><em>Image: KTLA/ X</em></p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

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

Placeholder Content Image

10 questions you must ask before booking a tour

<p>A tour can be a memorable experience, for the right and wrong reasons. Here are 10 questions you must ask yourself before booking one on your next holiday.</p> <p><strong>1. Are there minimum or maximum group sizes?</strong></p> <p>This applies for two reasons. Firstly, you need to decide how many people you’d like to travel with. Small group tours will have no more than a dozen or so while larger tours could be up to 50. The size will drastically impact your tour experience, affecting everything from the mode of transport to the type of meals. Secondly, you need to know if there’s a minimum group size needed for the tour to run. If you’re the only one who books you may find it cancelled.</p> <p><strong>2. What is your cancellation/refund policy?</strong></p> <p>As a rule of thumb, you should ask this question about any kind of travel you book before you hand over your cash. With a tour, make sure you find out their policies around inclement weather, too few passengers or if you need to cancel. And as always, travel insurance is your best friend.</p> <p><strong>3. Are you available for support throughout?</strong></p> <p>One of the good things about travelling with a tour is that you’ll have the services of at least one guide. It’s also good to know if the tour office itself is available for assistance when you’re on the road. This comes in handy if you have to make changes, get sick or are unhappy with the experience.</p> <p><strong>4. Do you have any reviews I can read?</strong></p> <p>If you can’t find the tour company on TripAdvisor or a similar review site, ask the company if they have any testimonials from previous customers. Before you make your final decision, it’s nice to know what other people have said about the tour and its style.</p> <p><strong>5. What experience/qualifications do the guides have?</strong></p> <p>Many tour companies now pride themselves on using locals or people who have lived in a country for many years to guide tours. You don’t want to be stuck with someone who just reads from a guidebook – you can do that yourself for half the price. Find out what they know before you go.</p> <p><strong>6. How active is it?</strong></p> <p>There is a huge spectrum when it comes to tours, ranging from coach journeys with very little walking to active treks where you cover hard ground every day. Make sure you find out exactly what will be involved and if that suits your abilities and fitness level. And be realistic – you and the tour group will suffer otherwise.</p> <p><strong>7. What is the demographic?</strong></p> <p>You don’t want to get stuck on a tour with a bunch of 25 year olds who are just looking for the pub. Most people prefer to travel with people around their own age and in similar demographics (such as solo travellers, seniors, families etc), so make sure you find out who is likely to be in your group before you book.</p> <p><strong>8. Is everything included or will I have to pay for extras?</strong></p> <p>You should be able to get a detailed break down of exactly what is – and what isn’t – included in the price. What looked like a good deal can quickly become very expensive if you have to pay for day excursions, admission fees, alcohol or other surprises.</p> <p><strong>9. How much time do you spend in each place?</strong></p> <p>Are you looking to tick many famous sites off your list or do you want to have the time to immerse yourself in a destination? When you’re looking at an itinerary, ask questions about how long you will actually be spending at each place to ensure that you get enough time to really enjoy it.</p> <p><strong>10. Will I get any free time on my own?</strong></p> <p>After many days as part of a group, it’s nice to have some time on your own. You can explore sites that aren’t on your itinerary, try a new restaurant or just have a well deserved nap. Find out how rigid the schedules are and if there will be some time to do your own thing.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Tips

Placeholder Content Image

Technology is alienating people – and it’s not just those who are older

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carolyn-wilson-nash-1255329">Carolyn Wilson-Nash</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/julie-tinson-277507">Julie Tinson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a></em></p> <p>We take it for granted that technology brings people closer together and improves our access to essential products and services. If you can’t imagine life without your smartphone, it’s easy to forget that people who can’t or don’t want to engage with the latest technology are being left behind.</p> <p>For example, there have recently been reports that <a href="https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1618497/parking-poll-results-cashless-car-parks-card-smartphone-app-only-elderly-drivers-spt">cashless payment systems</a> for car parking in the UK are seeing older drivers unfairly hit with fines. This has led to calls for the <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10851103/Esther-Rantzen-tells-ministers-pensioners-not-use-apps-pay-parking.html">government to intervene</a>.</p> <p>Age is one of the biggest predictors of <a href="https://ageing-better.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-08/landscape-covid-19-digital.pdf">digital exclusion</a>. Only 47% of those aged <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bulletins/internetusers/2019">75 and over</a> use the internet regularly. And out of the 4 million who have never used the internet in the UK, only 300,000 people are <a href="https://ageing-better.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-08/landscape-covid-19-digital.pdf">under 55</a>.</p> <p>But older people are not the only ones who feel shut out by new technology. For example, research shows vulnerable people, such as those with disabilities, are also disengaging with e-services and being <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0267257X.2012.691526">“locked out” of society</a>.</p> <h2>The digital transition</h2> <p>From train tickets to vaccine passports, there is a growing expectation that consumers should embrace technology to participate in everyday life. This is a global phenomenon. Out in front, Sweden predicts its economy will be <a href="https://sweden.se/life/society/a-cashless-society">fully cashless</a> by March 2023.</p> <p>Shops increasingly use QR codes, virtual reality window displays and self-service checkouts. Many of these systems require a smart device, and momentum is building for QR codes to be integrated into <a href="https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/technology-and-supply-chain/the-time-has-finally-arrived-for-electronic-shelf-labels-heres-why/661068.article">digital price tags</a> as they can give customers extra information such as nutritional content of food. Changing paper labels is a labour intensive process.</p> <p>Technology pervades all aspects of consumer life. Going on holiday, enjoying the cinema or theatre, and joining sport and social clubs all make people feel part of society. But many popular artists now use online queues to sell tickets to their shows. Social groups use WhatsApp and Facebook to keep their members updated.</p> <p>When it comes to booking a holiday, there is a <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/919811/number-of-travel-agents-united-kingdom-uk/#:%7E:text=Overall%2C%20there%20were%203%2C710%20retail,as%20TUI%20and%20Hays%20Travel.">decreasing number</a> of in-person travel agents. This limits the social support to make the best choice, which is particularly important for those with specific needs such as people with health issues. And once travelling, aircrew expect flight boarding passes and COVID passports to be available on smartphones.</p> <p>Essential services such as healthcare, which can already <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0267257X.2022.2078861">be difficult</a> for older and other people to navigate, are also moving online. Patients are increasingly expected to use the GP website or email to request to see a doctor. Ordering prescriptions online is encouraged.</p> <h2>Not just older people</h2> <p><a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/digital-lifeline-a-qualitative-evaluation/digital-lifeline-a-qualitative-evaluation">Not everyone can afford</a> an internet connection or smart technology. Some regions, particularly rural ones, struggle for phone signal. The UK phone network’s plans for a <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-61377944">digital switchover</a> by 2025, which would render traditional landlines redundant, could cut off people who rely on their landlines.</p> <p>Concerns about privacy can also stop people using technology. Data collection and security breaches impact people’s confidence in organisations. A 2020 survey into <a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/the-consumer-data-opportunity-and-the-privacy-imperative">consumers’ trust</a> in businesses showed no industry reached a trust rating of 50% for data protection. The majority of respondents (87%) said they would not do business with a company if they had concerns about its security practices.</p> <p>Some people view “forced” digitisation as a symbol of consumer culture and will limit their technology use. Followers of the <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228310981_The_Voluntary_Simplicity_Movement_Reimagining_the_Good_Life_Beyond_Consumer_Culture">simple living movement</a>, which gained momentum in the 1980s, try to minimise their use of technology. Many people take a “less is more” <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JCM-04-2020-3749/full/html">approach to technology</a> simply because they feel it offers a more meaningful existence.</p> <p>One of the most common reasons for digital exclusion, however, <a href="https://www.iriss.org.uk/resources/esss-outlines/digital-inclusion-exclusion-and-participation">is poverty</a>. When the <a href="https://www.local.gov.uk/parliament/briefings-and-responses/tackling-digital-divide-house-commons-4-november-2021">pandemic hit in March 2020</a>, 51% of households earning between £6,000 to £10,000 had home internet access, compared with 99% of households with an income over £40,000.</p> <p>Limited access to tablets, smartphones and laptops can result in feelings of isolation. Many older consumers have developed strategies to manage and overcome the <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0267257X.2021.1945662">digital challenges</a> presented by these devices. But those unable to <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-older-people-are-mastering-technology-to-stay-connected-after-lockdown-165562">engage with technology</a> remain excluded if their family and friends don’t live close by.</p> <h2>Smart change</h2> <p>The solution is not simply to give devices to those without smart technology. While there is a need to provide affordable internet access and technology, and offer support in learning new skills, we need to recognise diversity in society.</p> <p>Services should provide non-digital options that embrace equality. For example, cash systems should not be abolished. There might be a demand for services to become digital, but service providers need to be aware of the people who will be isolated by this transition.</p> <p>Retailers, local councils, health providers and businesses in tourism, entertainment and leisure should try to understand more about the diversity of their consumers. They need to develop services that cater for the needs of all people, especially those without access to technology.</p> <p>We live in a diverse world and diverse consumers need choice. After all, access to and inclusion in society is a human right.<!-- 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/184095/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/carolyn-wilson-nash-1255329">Carolyn Wilson-Nash</a>, Lecturer, Marketing and Retail, Stirling Management School, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/julie-tinson-277507">Julie Tinson</a>, Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</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/technology-is-alienating-people-and-its-not-just-those-who-are-older-184095">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Technology

Our Partners