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"Those are the rules": Kelly Slater barred from Australia

<p>Surfing legend Kelly Slater has been told he will not be able to enter Australia without a Covid-19 vaccination. </p> <p>The 11-time world champion has previously refused to disclose his vaccination status and spoken out about his exasperation about making the jab mandatory, but assured fans he's not anti-vax. </p> <p>He has, however, publicly defended American podcast host Joe Rogan over dishing out dangerous health advice, and more recently blasted the Australian government over the decision to deport Novak Djokovic. </p> <p>After Novak's highly publicised deportation last week, Slater took to social media to say, <span>"maybe Stockholm Syndrome can now change its name to Melbourne/Australia syndrome", and "so much brainwashed hatred in people's hearts regardless of vax status".</span></p> <p><span>After receiving backlash over his views, the surfing champ deleted the posts. </span></p> <p><span>Despite his opinions, Slater now faces the same fate as Novak Djokovic, as he risks being barred from entering the country if he continues to refuse to disclose his vaccination status, unless he proves he is eligible for a legitimate exemption. </span><span></span></p> <p><span>Slater is planning to enter Australia for the upcoming World Surf League championship events, which will take place in Victoria in April, before another event in Western Australia. </span></p> <p>Federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck said Slater "has no chance of getting into the country" if he is not vaccinated.</p> <p>"I reckon he knows the rules. It doesn't matter whether you're a surfer, or a tennis player, a tourist or anyone else, those are the rules. They apply to everyone," Colbeck said.</p> <p><span>"I don't like the chances of him competing in Victoria, and I'd hate to think of what the chances were of him competing in Western Australia."</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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"I'm so sorry": Adele issues teary apology

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pop legend Adele has made a </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/im-really-sorry-adeles-shock-announcement-on-eve-of-vegas-residency/news-story/92152db4a75ff220d6ff3aae7d233d03" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">teary announcement</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> online that shocked fans, revealing she has postponed her highly-anticipated Las Vegas residency the day before it was due to open.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 33-year-old was due to debut her </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Weekends with Adele</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Friday, January 21, playing two shows every weekend until April.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, just 24 hours before her first show, Adele took to Instagram to make her announcement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She explained that she “wasn’t ready” for the residency, first announced in November 2021, due to Covid and other production delays.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CY-AYtZAgp-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CY-AYtZAgp-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Adele (@adele)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m so sorry, but my show ain’t ready. We’ve tried absolutely everything that we can to pull it together and have it ready in time for you, but we’ve been absolutely destroyed by delivery delays and Covid,” she began in the clip.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Half my crew, half my team are down with Covid - still are. It’s been impossible to finish the show. I can’t give you what I have right now, and I’m gutted,” she continued.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m sorry it’s so last-minute. We’ve been awake for over 30 hours now trying to figure it out and … we’ve run out of time. I’m so upset and I’m really embarrassed and I’m so sorry to everyone that’s travelled again.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m really, really sorry. We’re on it, we’re going to reschedule all of the dates, and I’m going to finish my show and get it to where it’s supposed to be.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s been impossible. We’ve been up against so much and it just ain’t ready.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CW53ZoEgv-m/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CW53ZoEgv-m/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Adele (@adele)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The star’s announcement even seemed to take the venue by surprise, with Caesars Palace still listing the start date as January 21 on its website.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though Adele has simply said that “all dates will be rescheduled” in a caption accompanying her announcement, it’s unclear how many of the shows will be affected.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Adele is expected to earn almost $1 million per show, with </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Sun</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> reporting that the singer will also enjoy some perks during her stay at the famed location.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The casino will provide the </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Easy On Me</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> singer with a “$56,000-a-night private suite accessible at any time during the residency, a butler, an executive assistant, chauffeur and security”, as well as free food and drinks for her and any guests staying at a Caesars resort.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: @adele (Instagram)</span></em></p>

Music

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Five home improvements that WON’T add value

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though renovations and home improvements are usually a sure way to add value to your property, that isn’t always true. There are some improvements that require a large investment that won’t turn a profit when you come to sell and others that add no value at all.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wendy Chamberlain, an avid house flipper and Buyer’s Advocate, shares five home improvements that won’t bump up your property’s selling price.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Over-the-top kitchen and bathroom updates</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though renovating the kitchen and bathroom is usually a worthwhile investment, ‘over renovating’ these spaces may result in your hard work (and cash) failing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Some key areas may make the home look more modern, but ultimately, buyers may not care that much,” Chamberlain told </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.domain.com.au/news/8-home-improvements-that-wont-add-value-to-your-property-2-1113892/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Domain</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If the existing kitchen, while dated, is functional, you may get away with leaving it as is and focusing your cash and efforts elsewhere.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As for the bathroom, adding marble tiles or other luxury fitting and fixtures may look great, but often won’t return the value you’d expect.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Integrated heating and cooling</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Heating and cooling are areas unlikely to provide an immediate renovation return,” Chamberlain said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since buyers will generally be satisfied with a simple split system air conditioning unit, installing expensive full ducting - which can cost up to $20,000 depending on the size of the house - may end up being a waste of money.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Ducted heating and refrigerated cooling are expensive to install. For your reno, a cheaper yet effective split system heating/cooling unit may be just as adequate for the job.”</span></p> <p><strong>3. Inconsistent design</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Adding stylish gold tapware and marble tiles to a bathroom sounds great, but it can work against you if the rest of the home uses chrome fittings and laminate floors - and stays that way.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chamberlain explained that changing one or two items or areas could also highlight problem areas in the house: “when you change one thing, the next looks dated”.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Bespoke features and luxe fittings</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though it’s common to see top-of-the-line flooring, fancy tech, imported tiles and elaborate light fittings in multi-million-dollar celebrity homes, more often than not these higher quality details won’t impact the final selling price as much as you may expect.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some custom high-end inclusions like an infrared sauna can also be seen as personal, while buyers will be wanting to see themselves in the space as their own (which may be sauna-free).</span></p> <p><strong>5. Messing with the existing floor plan</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For owners looking to renovate before selling to improve their returns, removing rooms is a big no-no.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chamberlain added that moving or removing load-bearing walls can become costly quickly.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Not to mention the quickly escalating costs as soon as you need to move plumbing,” she said. “If you can, stick to the existing layout and renovate the rooms and floor plan you already have.</span></p> <p><strong>Tips for renovating</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When renovating, always keep in mind what is going to appeal to a future buyer when the time comes to eventually sell,” Chamberlain said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before you bust up the drop sheets or call a builder, it’s important to do your research and note how your plans may compare to other homes in your area that are on the market.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you’re renovating a property with the primary aim to sell it, consider which updates or areas will result in the best return for every dollar spent,” Chamberlain said.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Home Hints & Tips

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Man dies while searching for missing police dog

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A man has died during an informal search for Queensland’s missing police dog Quizz, who </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/search-underway-for-missing-police-dog" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">was separated from his handler</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> during a pursuit last week.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Emergency services were called to a quarry site in Redbank Plains in southwest Queensland, at around 7pm on Thursday night.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 61-year-old man </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/man-dies-while-searching-for-missing-police-dog-quizz-in-queensland/6d04a140-8abc-4639-b041-2bb7a84cf4f2" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">was pronounced dead</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> at the scene.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police believe he suffered a medical episode, and it is understood that he was searching for the missing police dog.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“While the Queensland Police Service understands there are still members of our community conducting their own searches for our PD Quizz and we are grateful for the continued efforts, your safety and the safety of those around you is of paramount importance to us,” Queensland Police </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://mypolice.qld.gov.au/news/2022/01/21/non-suspicious-death-redbank-plains/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in a statement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We urge the community to reconsider navigating the areas within the previous searches as they can be potentially dangerous and physically demanding.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The local community has been searching for the sable German Shepherd since his disappearance on January 11.</span></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FQueenslandPolice%2Fposts%2F295707969256729&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=500" width="500" height="737" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share"></iframe></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Quizz was separated from his handler, Senior Constable Den McGreevy, while attempting to track a teen who had fled with a stolen car.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, search efforts were scaled back after over 1,000 people searched for the dog for six days.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My family and I are deeply appreciative of everyone who has given their time to help find our best friend,” Senior Constable McGreevy </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-16/qld-search-for-missing-police-dog-pd-quizz-scales-back/100759826"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in a statement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He is much loved and deeply missed. We are heartbroken and miss him every moment he’s not with us.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police will continue to search for Quizz at a reduced capacity and hope members of the public will continue to keep an eye out for the dog.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Queensland Police Service (Facebook)</span></em></p>

Family & Pets

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I just recovered from Omicron – how long does my immunity last?

<div class="copy"> <p>If you recently recovered from an <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/covid/omicron-update-170122/" target="_blank">Omicron infection</a>, do you now have free rein to do whatever you want without risk of reinfection? And if so, for how long?</p> <p>Two main factors affect how well your acquired immunity after Omicron infection will protect you. </p> <p>First, your antibody levels. “If high levels of neutralising antibodies are elicited to Omicron following infection, then we would expect to see some level of protection against reinfection with Omicron, but this is likely to be short-lived,” says Professor Gilda Tachedjian, a virologist at the Burnet Institute and past president of the Australian Virology Society.</p> <p>Generally, a more severe infection generates a higher level of antibodies than an asymptomatic infection, explains Professor Anthony Cunningham, an infectious diseases physician and clinical virologist at the University of Sydney. But when the level of neutralising antibodies begins to drop, your likelihood of reinfection rises.</p> <p>It’s simply too early to know how long Omicron immunity will last, he says.</p> <p>From vaccine studies, we know that antibody levels begin to drop after three to six months. A <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247(21)00219-6/fulltext" target="_blank">recent study</a> published in <em>The Lancet</em> estimated that reinfection by SARS-CoV-2 under endemic conditions would likely occur between three months and five years after peak antibody response.</p> <p>Almost certainly, Cunningham says, there will be a lot of individual variation, similar to what has been observed with previous strains. This variation depends on the severity of the disease you experienced, and whether you have had a vaccine.</p> <p>The second factor: emerging variants. Our waning antibodies may not be able to target any new variants that come along. The Omicron variant, for example, largely evades immunity from past infection and vaccines. A recent <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/covid-19/report-49-Omicron/" target="_blank">report</a> from Imperial College London estimates that the risk of reinfection with Omicron is 5.4 times greater than that of the Delta variant.</p> <p>“The most likely outcome is that you won’t get re-infected with Omicron because the expectation is that the Omicron wave will decline, but then the greatest risk is that another strain comes along,” says Cunningham. “It all depends on what type of strain comes next.”</p> <p>Even if you have had a recent Omicron infection, don’t throw your mask away, warns Cunningham: “The more virus circulates in the world, the more likely it is that we’ll see new strains.”</p> <p>Although protection from reinfection might not last for long, experts think T-cells might come to the rescue.</p> <p>While antibodies directly bind and neutralise virions, preventing an infection, T-cells activate once the infection is established. They target and kill virus-infected cells, helping to clear the infection and reduce its severity. This arm of the immune response tends to be broader than antibodies – and thus more likely to recognise variants, and to last longer, Tachedjian explains.</p> <p>“Hopefully, you will be asymptomatic or have a less severe disease [the second time around].”</p> <em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/covid/immunity-after-omicron-infection/">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Dr Manuela Callari. </em></p> </div>

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Pamela Anderson and bodyguard husband split after one-year marriage

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pamela Anderson has announced she will be divorcing her husband Dan Hayhurst after marrying him just one year ago.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The former </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Baywatch</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> star married Hayhurst - her fifth husband - in </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/pamela-anderson-marries-bodyguard-in-small-ceremony" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">a private ceremony</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> on Christmas Eve in 2020 at her Vancouver Island home, where her parents had once been married.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKj5AQUpOUt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKj5AQUpOUt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by RASTA Sanctuary (@rastasanctuary)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But their relationship has since been described as a “pandemic whirlwind” that has died down, </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-news/pamela-anderson-divorce-fifth-husband-1287881/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rolling Stone</span></a></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">reports.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Pamela loves as authentically as she lives,” a source told the publication, adding that their relationship was a “pandemic whirlwind”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anderson </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/pamela-anderson-to-divorce-husband-dan-hayhurst-after-one-year-of-marriage/c4d617ef-9da8-4d3c-95cc-805790d3b4e7" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">filed for divorce</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in her home country of Canada, where she and Dayhurst have been living since they married.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The pair first began dating in September 2020, seven months after Anderson ended her 12-day marriage to Hollywood mogul Jon Peters.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anderson and Hayhurst reportedly bonded over a shared love of animals, with Hayhurst having worked as a builder for an animal sanctuary in Canada.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anderson is believed to have left their shared home to live with her sons Brandon, 23, and Dylan, 22, in Malibu. She shares the two boys with her former husband Tommy Lee, with their marriage now being the subject of a mini-series called </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pam &amp; Tommy</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though Anderson has had an eventual love-life, her relationship with Hayhurst has been particularly scandal-ridden.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hayhurst’s former partner Carey - who also cared for his two children - alleged that Anderson split up their family and seduced Hayhurst in an affair.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I decided to speak out because I want people to know that my almost five-year relationship, with three children involved, ended because of the affair Pam and Dan started while he was still with me,” Carey told </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Sun</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> just a month after Hayhurst and Anderson tied the knot.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s sad that people celebrate this and cheer them on, when it started with deceit, denials and life-shattering choices for all the people involved.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Undeterred by Carey’s comments, Anderson gave an interview from her marital bed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is like the magic place to live, I guess,” Anderson said of their relationship.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He was working here, and I got stuck here during Covid, and we stuck together, and we’re still stuck together.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He’s the kind of guy I probably would have met if I would have stayed home and went around the world and got crazy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I mean, I came home in one piece. It’s nice to be with, like, a real man who can actually change a light bulb.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: @rastasanctuary (Instagram)</span></em></p>

Relationships

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The better you are at math, the more money seems to influence your satisfaction

<p>Your grade school math teacher probably told you that being good at math would be very important to your grownup self. But maybe the younger you didn’t believe that at the time. A lot of research, though, has shown that <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/people-who-are-bad-with-numbers-often-find-it-harder-to-make-ends-meet-even-if-they-are-not-poor-172272" target="_blank">your teacher was right</a>.</p> <p>We are two researchers who study decision-making and how it relates to wealth and happiness. In a study published in November 2021, we found that, in general, people who are better at math <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0259331" target="_blank">make more money and are more satisfied with their lives</a> than people who aren’t as mathematically talented. But being good at math seems to be a double-edged sword. Although math-proficient people are very satisfied when they have high incomes, they are more dissatisfied, compared to those who aren’t as good at math, when they don’t make a lot of money.</p> <p>Many researchers have suggested that more money only increases <a rel="noopener" href="https://qz.com/1503207/a-nobel-prize-winning-psychologist-defines-happiness-versus-satisfaction/" target="_blank">life satisfaction and happiness</a> up to a certain point. Our research modifies this idea by showing that satisfaction derived from income relates strongly to how good a person is at math.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441600/original/file-20220119-27-1kh4idi.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441600/original/file-20220119-27-1kh4idi.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="A person holding a pencil above a sheet of paper." /></a> <em><span class="caption">Nearly 6,000 people responded to a survey that asked about math skills, income and life satisfaction.</span> <span class="attribution"><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/student-taking-math-quiz-cropped-royalty-free-image/97612935?adppopup=true" target="_blank" class="source">PhotoAlto/Odilon Dimier via Getty Images</a></span></em></p> <p><strong>A math and happiness test</strong></p> <p>We investigated the relationship between math ability, income and life satisfaction, using surveys sent to 5,748 diverse Americans as part of the <a rel="noopener" href="https://uasdata.usc.edu/index.php" target="_blank">Understanding America Study</a>.</p> <p>The study included two questions and one test relevant to our research. One question asked participants about their household yearly income. Another one asked respondents to rate how satisfied they are with their lives on a scale of zero to 10.</p> <p>Finally, people answered eight math questions that varied in difficulty to get a sense of their math skills. For example, one of the moderately difficult questions was: “Jerry received both the 15th highest and the 15th lowest mark in the class. How many students are in the class?” The correct answer is 29 students.</p> <p>We then combined the results to see how they all related to one another.</p> <p>Math skills and income also are tied to <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/money-buys-even-more-happiness-than-it-used-to-141766" target="_blank">level of education,</a> so, in our analyses, we controlled for education, verbal intelligence, personality traits and other demographics.</p> <p><strong>Connecting math skills to income and satisfaction</strong></p> <p>On average, the better a person was at math, the <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0259331" target="_blank">more money they made</a>. For every one additional right answer on the eight-question math test, people reported an average of $4,062 more in annual income.</p> <p>Imagine you have two people with the same level of education, one of whom answered none of the math questions correctly and the other answered all of them correctly. Our research predicts that the person who answered all of the questions correctly will earn about $30,000 more each year.</p> <p>The survey also showed that people who are better at math were, on average, also more satisfied with their lives than those with lower math ability. This finding agrees with <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1257/0002828041464551" target="_blank">a lot of other research</a> and suggests that income influences life satisfaction.</p> <p>But prior research has shown that the relationship between income and satisfaction is not as straightforward as “more money equals greater happiness.” It turns out that how satisfied a person is with their income often depends on how they feel it <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610362671" target="_blank">compares to other people’s incomes</a>.</p> <p>Other research has also shown that people who are better at math tend to make <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190861094.001.0001" target="_blank">more numerical comparisons</a> in general than those who are worse at math. This led our team to suspect that math-proficient people would compare incomes more, too. Our results seem to show just that.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/439268/original/file-20220104-15-15r038f.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/439268/original/file-20220104-15-15r038f.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="A graph correlating math skills to life satisfaction and income." /></a><em> <span class="caption">This chart shows that people who scored highest on the math test (red line) appear to be happiest when they make a lot of money (top right of graph), but also the least satisfied when they make less money (bottom left of graph). Different color lines correspond to the number of math questions answered correctly.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Ellen Peters, Pär Bjälkebring</span>, <a rel="noopener" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/" target="_blank" class="license">CC BY-ND</a></span></em></p> <p>Simply put, the better a person was at math, the <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0259331" target="_blank">more they cared about how much money they make</a>. People who are better at math had the highest life satisfaction when they had high incomes. But deriving satisfaction from income goes both ways. These people also had the lowest life satisfaction when they had lower incomes. Among people who aren’t as good at math, income didn’t relate to satisfaction nearly as much. Thus, the same income was valued differently depending on a person’s math skills.</p> <p><strong>Money does buy happiness for some</strong></p> <p>An often-quoted fact – backed up by research – says that once a person makes around $95,000 a year, <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-017-0277-0" target="_blank">earning more money doesn’t dramatically increase satisfaction</a>. This concept is called <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0277-0?mod=article_inline" target="_blank">income satiation</a>. Our research challenges that blanket statement.</p> <p>Interestingly, the people who are best at math did not seem to show income satiation. They were more and more satisfied with more income, and there didn’t appear to be an upper limit. This did not hold true for people who weren’t as talented at math. The least math-proficient group gained more satisfaction from income only until about $50,000. After that, earning more money made little difference.</p> <p>For some, money does seem to buy happiness. While more work needs to be done to really understand why, we think it may be because math-oriented people compare numbers – including incomes – to make sense of the world. And maybe that’s not always a great thing. In comparison, those who are worse at math appear to derive life satisfaction from sources other than income. So if you are feeling dissatisfied with your income, maybe seeing beyond the numbers will be a winning strategy for you.<!-- 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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/173720/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 rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/par-bjalkebring-1289840" target="_blank">Pär Bjälkebring</a>, Assistant Professor of Psychology, <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-gothenburg-1351" target="_blank">University of Gothenburg</a> and <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ellen-peters-812268" target="_blank">Ellen Peters</a>, Director, Center for Science Communication Research, <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-oregon-811" target="_blank">University of Oregon</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/the-better-you-are-at-math-the-more-money-seems-to-influence-your-satisfaction-173720" target="_blank">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Older people can struggle with sustainable living

<p><em>Image: Getty </em></p> <p>Improving the sustainability of Australia’s housing stock is<span> </span>crucial<span> </span>to meeting national emissions reduction goals. But for older adults, such changes can bring both benefits and challenges.</p> <p>My<span> </span>recent research<span> </span>examined the literature on environmental sustainability measures at residences for older adults. These included private homes, retirement villages and nursing homes.</p> <p>I found that while sustainability measures can bring multiple benefits to older people, they also bring challenges. For example, people living in sustainable dwellings may use less energy and water which leads to lower bills. But older people may suffer cognitive decline and struggle to use sustainable technology devices.</p> <p>The full effects of environmentally sustainable features must be better understood if we’re to provide seniors with high-quality residential environments.</p> <h2>Sustainability and ageing: a complex mix</h2> <p>Forecasts suggest that by 2056,<span> </span>22% of Australians<span> </span>– or 8.7 million people – will be aged 65 or older. High-quality residential environments are important to maintaining the welfare of these people as they age.</p> <p>Environmental sustainability is playing an ever greater role in residential development across the board, including retirement villages. And<span> </span>previous research<span> </span>suggests most retirement village residents want to lead more sustainable lifestyles.</p> <p>As climate change worsens, the dwellings of older adults should allow them to adapt to these changing conditions. The reduced ability of elderly people to regulate their body temperature means global warming is a profound threat to this group.</p> <p>Improving the sustainability of a residential environment may include:</p> <ul> <li>reducing waste</li> <li>using low carbon or recycled building materials</li> <li>solar passive design</li> <li>efficient heating and cooling</li> <li>using renewable energy such as rooftop solar.</li> </ul> <p>Some residential projects<span> </span>for the elderly already include environmental sustainability. A<span> </span>case study<span> </span>of a not-for-profit retirement village in South Australia revealed practices such as innovative floor plans, thermally efficient building materials, good window orientation and a water harvesting system.</p> <p>And my previous research<span> </span>found<span> </span>a range of sustainability features at eight private and not-for-profit retirement villages in Queensland.</p> <p>However, while many retirement village developers prioritise “social sustainability” features such as care provision and social interaction, environmental sustainability is<span> </span>largely ignored.</p> <h2>On the plus side</h2> <p>The benefits of environmentally sustainable features in in older adults’ residential environment include:</p> <p><strong>- reduced resource consumption:</strong><span> </span>sustainable dwellings usually require less water and energy use, which lowers living costs. This is especially important for older adults who often have reduced financial capacity after retirement. Older people also use energy<span> </span>more intensively<span> </span>than other groups because they have fewer household members, greater heating requirements and spend more time at home.</p> <p><strong>- reduced health risks:</strong><span> </span>environmentally sustainable measures can lead to healthier indoor environments. For example, good ventilation and high-quality air conditioning often lead to improved indoor air quality and more comfortable ambient temperatures.</p> <p><strong>- alleviated environmental challenges:</strong><span> </span>many older people want their homes to be more environmentally friendly. Doing their bit to alleviate global problems such as greenhouse gas emissions can provide them with peace of mind.</p> <h2>The potential downsides</h2> <p>The challenges of environmentally sustainable home features for older adults include:</p> <p><strong>- financial pressure:</strong><span> </span>the income of many older adults is substantially reduced after retirement. This<span> </span>can conflict<span> </span>with the high initial investment of developing an sustainable housing and the cost of replacing existing systems with sustainable ones.</p> <p><strong>- reducing energy consumption:</strong><span> </span>in some cases, sustainability measures can involve tolerating slightly higher or cooler temperatures. For example, moving from a gas-heating system to a more sustainable type may<span> </span>delay<span> </span>the arrival of heat in a room and leave older people uncomfortable for a short time. This may conflict with older people’s<span> </span>increased sensitivity<span> </span>to ambient temperatures.</p> <p><strong>- confusion and complexity:</strong><span> </span>Older adults can have<span> </span>reduced cognitive capabilities<span> </span>affecting memory and information processing speed. As a result they may struggle to use sustainable technologies such as smart thermostats. Research has<span> </span>suggested<span> </span>ways of overcoming this, such as better recognising the diversity of older adults to achieve a better “person-technology fit”.</p> <h2>Next steps</h2> <p>Older adults have unique needs which their homes<span> </span>must satisfy, even when sustainability features are being adopted.</p> <p>Ageing should be seen as a dynamic process with physical, psychological and social dimensions. And the complex interrelationships of ageing, environmental sustainability and the residential environment also need to be recognised.</p> <p>Best practices and lessons learned in creating sustainable living environments for older adults should be<span> </span>shared.</p> <p>Finally, developers making sustainability decisions should consult other stakeholders. These include contractors, occupational therapists, researchers and most importantly, older adults themselves.</p> <p>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/confusion-financial-pressure-discomfort-older-people-can-struggle-with-sustainable-living-despite-its-obvious-benefits-174535">The Conversation</a>.</p>

Retirement Life

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Man drowns trying to save his daughter

<p dir="ltr">A family trip to the beach has come to a tragic end after an Adelaide father died trying to save his young daughter.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 49-year-old took to the water at Adelaide’s Grange Beach after the tide began taking his daughter - who was on an inflatable tube - further out to sea.</p> <p dir="ltr">Onlooker Michael Napper saw the situation unfold before racing out to help.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The little daughter jumped off the tube into his arms in deep water and he was trying to save her,” Mr Napper<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/news/disaster-and-emergency/tragedy-as-dad-dies-trying-to-save-daughter-at-adelaide-beach-c-5384036" target="_blank">told<span> </span><em>7News</em></a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7846961/drowning1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/769934c9d4ca4d8ba98eaba28675948c" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Michael Napper (left) took action after seeing the younger man struggle to rescue his daughter. Image: 7News</em></p> <p dir="ltr">“It was too deep. He was holding her out of the water and the water was above his head and when I looked around he was floating.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The 70-year-old went out on the water with his boogie board to rescue the pair.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I had to. She was crying and she was very upset,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I got her on the board and she was holding the board. She was alright.</p> <p dir="ltr">“By the time I got to (her dad) he was under water and the next thing he was floating.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So I grabbed him by the trousers and turned him over and got him above the water and then I swam in.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Two onlookers began performing CPR on the unconscious man until paramedics arrived.</p> <p dir="ltr">He was treated for over an hour but paramedics were unable to revive him.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img style="width: 500px; height:296.1538461538462px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7846962/drowning2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/96af257f314e4b9093b9bd273ac19671" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Though other onlookers and paramedics worked to save the man, he could not be revived. Image: 7News</em></p> <p dir="ltr">The man’s passing comes as the second death by drowning this week, after a 71-year-old man died over the weekend after diving into treacherous waters to save two relatives near Victor Harbor, 80km south of Adelaide.</p> <p dir="ltr">Surf Lifesavers are urging people to take extra care around the water.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So far in six weeks we have seen four coastal drownings in South Australia,” Surf Life Saving SA spokesperson Daniel Willetts said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We urge people to please assist yourselves and help yourself before you go to the aid of others, otherwise you may find that you indeed yourself become the fatality.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: 7News</em></p>

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"Low IQ": Medvedev beats Kyrgios then takes a swipe at unruly crowd

<p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p>Russian world number two Daniil Medvedev had a go at tennis fans after his four-set defeat of Australian star Nick Kyrgios.</p> <p>Medvedev prevailed 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in front of a capacity crowd on Rod Laver Arena.</p> <p>Medvedev did his best to block out the crowd's loud antics during the match, even when they were whipped into a frenzy by Kyrgios. However, Medvedev's poise broke post-match in interviews, taking issue with some people in the crowd for booing or cheering between serves when two-times Australian Open champion turned tennis presenter Jim Courier asked him how he kept his emotions in check.</p> <p>"Sorry, I can't hear you," Medvedev said. "Show some respect for Jim Courier, he won here. Let him speak, please, if you respect somebody, at least respect Jim Courier."</p> <p>Medvedev then further admonished the Melbourne Park crowd in an interview with Eurosport.</p> <p>"Break point, second serve and people are cheering like you already made a double fault. That's just disappointing," he said.</p> <p>"It's not everybody who is doing it but those who are doing it probably have a low IQ.</p> <p>"It's not good for the game I think to do it, because probably people don't know, but when you're getting ready for the second serve, it's a tough moment."<br />Despite admitting the need for the crowd to observe etiquette at times, Kyrgios said he thought rowdy crowds were good for the evolution of the sport.</p> <p>"I thought the atmosphere was awesome," Kyrgios said.</p> <p>"You've got, like, you know, the most entertaining player playing in his home slam on Rod Laver, you'd expect the crowd to be like that.<br />Karl Stefanovic appeared to take issue with the Russian tennis star's comments, as he blasted Medvedev on the<span> </span><em>Today Show</em><span> </span>on Friday morning.</p> <p>“Daniil Medvedev, my accountant has a better personality,” Karl said.</p> <p>“Daniil Medvedev, he makes Ivan Lendl look like Beyonce. Daniil Medvedev,<span> </span><em>Terminator 4</em><span> </span>had more facial expressions.”</p> <p>He added: “Insulting the fans like that – they weren’t actually booing him. He misunderstood what was happening.”</p>

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"Rot in hell": Charlise Mutten's alleged killer attacked online

<p>A Facebook post from 2020 announcing the engagement of Charlise Mutten's alleged killer, Justin Stein, and her mother, <span>Kallista Mutten, has been inundated with death threats and violent messages. </span><span></span></p> <p><span>After a five-day </span>search for nine-year-old Charlise, NSW Police confirmed the worst when her body was found in a barrel in bushland near the Blue Mountains where she went missing. </p> <p>Shortly after her body was found, Justin Stein was arrested for murder, but major questions still linger about the case. </p> <p>Police have been unable to interview Charlise's mother Kallista, who remains under medical supervision and remains "difficult to approach", according to police. </p> <p>As news of Justin Stein's arrest broke, a Facebook post from December 2020 sharing news of Justin and Kallista's engagement has been flooded with hateful messages, with many telling the 31-year-old man to "rot in hell".</p> <p>The post has attracted over 2,000 comments with people sending death threats and photos of nooses, all while seeking vengeance for the slain nine-year-old girl. </p> <p>One person wrote, <span>“I hope you only know pure hell for the rest of your days!”, while another said, “Monster! Hope you rot in jail.”</span></p> <p><span>Others shared their sadness and </span>disbelief over Charlise's death, with one person saying, <span>“What a broken world! That poor precious girl deserved so much better in this world! Rest easy little one, no one will ever hurt you again.”</span></p> <p>A milestone post announcing the couple's new relationship, which began just one month before their engagement, has attracted a slew of similar comments.</p> <p>Charlise usually lives with her grandmother in the Queensland town of Coolangatta, but was spending time with her mother and step-father over the school holidays. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

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Parents of accused killer break their silence

<p><em>Image: 9News</em></p> <p>Justin Stein, who grew up among Sydney’s affluent elite, had a “tortured” life, his mum says, as her son remains behind bars, charged with murdering his stepdaughter.</p> <p>Annemie Stein said she had not approved of her son’s turbulent relationship with Charlise’s mother, ex-ice addict Kallista Mutten. They had been together for just over a year.</p> <p>“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink, or choose their partners, and sometimes it ends up in a headache like this one,” Ms Stein, 56, said from her home in Sydney’s inner-west.</p> <p>“Justin’s had a pretty tortured life.”</p> <p>“It would hurt anyone (to have a child go through this), it doesn’t matter who you are it would hurt you because parents know their children and, you know, as I said, the mother is the one they need to talk to.”</p> <p>Kallista Mutten remains under medical supervision in hospital.</p> <p>Kallista's mother said that Charlise was soon to be her step-granddaughter before she was allegedly murdered and her body stuffed in a barrel. She says was: “A lovely little girl and beautiful little girl and definitely didn’t deserve this.”</p> <p>Meanwhile, in rural NSW, Justin Stein’s father James Stein revealed he had not seen his son for some time.</p> <p>James Stein Snr, who split with Annemie Stein more than a decade ago, now runs an antique shop at Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains with his partner. It appears the family has been torn in two for a number of years.<br />His oldest son, James Jnr, and his partner Keegan Buzza, are also understood not to have seen Justin since about 2016.</p> <p>Together the Steins still own the luxurious Wildenstein wedding venue where Charlise was staying for a holiday when she went missing.</p> <p>Having had little to do with his son in recent times, James Stein Snr said he had never met young Charlise, but was left “heartbroken” by her death:<br />“Absolutely heartbroken. It‘s a tragedy. I’d never met her, so there you go.<br />"I‘m a father... I hope you never have to go through circumstances like these.”<br />Ms Mutten lost custody of Charlise in 2018 while she was serving a minimum of two years two months for dangerous driving causing death while high on ice.</p>

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Travel

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The world’s most famous streets

<p><strong>Champs-Élysées</strong></p> <p><span>When it comes to famous streets, the Champs-Élysées is surely one of the most recognisable in the world. Running through Paris’ 8th arrondissement, it attracts throngs of tourists not only for its historical significance, but also for the chic little cafés and shops located throughout the avenue. </span></p> <p><span>Its western end leads all the way to the Arc de Triomphe, one of the city’s most popular monuments, which visitors can climb for a breathtaking shot of the Champs Elysées before them.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYT2u6bIbbF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYT2u6bIbbF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by ChampsElysees_Paris (@champselysees_paris)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Ginza</strong></p> <p><span>Tokyo’s fashion district was built up from the ashes of an 1872 fire, and then rebuilt after a series of bombings during World War II left the area practically in ruins. </span></p> <p><span>Nowadays, it’s the booming epicentre of Tokyo, housing hip restaurants and art galleries, important names in fashion from Caroline Herrera to Chanel, as well as flagship electronic stores like Sony and Apple. </span></p> <p><span>It’s reminiscent of Broadway in the midst of New York City’s Times Square but with a culture and identity all its own.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRgiVaOhIjh/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRgiVaOhIjh/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Japan Photos Daily (@japandailies)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Lombard Street</strong></p> <p><span>This famous street in San Francisco is truly one of the city’s coolest spots to visit. After all, with a one-block stretch on Russian Hill that includes eight sharp turns, the “crookedest street in San Francisco” is sure to pique even the most travelled tourist’s curiosity. </span></p> <p><span>With a city known for its steep hills, this design was originally meant to allow cars to go down the road safely and slowly. Slow indeed: the recommended speed limit is 8 km per hour. If you’ve got a car in tow on your California excursion, we highly recommend a drive down Lombard if you can. </span></p> <p><span>It won’t be a speedy thrill ride, but it certainly will be a fun time trying to navigate each turn.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CN2jNfFhJbW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CN2jNfFhJbW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by San Francisco ❤️ California 🇺🇸 (@san_francisco_live)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Abbey Road</strong></p> <p><span>The iconic pedestrian crossing that was featured on the Beatles album cover in 1969 has since become one of the most famous streets in the world. </span></p> <p><span>Since the record’s release, many fans have made the pilgrimage to central London’s Abbey Road to mimic the image of John, Paul, George and Ringo crossing the street.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY8q3Qct6Xt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY8q3Qct6Xt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by @photographicmemoryshow</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Fifth Avenue</strong></p> <p><span>A fashionista’s paradise, Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue is one of the world’s most famous streets for luxury shopping. </span></p> <p><span>Particularly between 49th and 60th Streets, this avenue is lined with showrooms for the best-known (and most expensive) designer brands: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Armani, Versace and more. Visitors looking for sartorial finds are wise to come to New York City with a loaded wallet. </span></p> <p><span>For a film buff, a stop at the Tiffany &amp; Co. headquarters comes standard, with a coffee and croissant in hand to imitate Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in <em>Breakfast at Tiffany’s</em>.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY-C_MKvBsN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY-C_MKvBsN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by 𝐃𝐀𝐈𝐊𝐈 𝐊𝐔𝐑𝐈𝐓𝐀 (@jayden_radio)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>La Rambla</strong></p> <p>Barcelona’s most famous street, La Rambla is a hub for both residents and visitors alike.</p> <p>The kilometre-long, tree-lined pedestrian street is home to numerous, bars, cafés, restaurants and kiosks selling everything from flowers to souvenirs.</p> <p>From sunrise to late night, the street is often very crowded, with many simply sitting on the many benches to chat and people watch, while tourists come to drink from the Font de Canaletes fountain which supposedly ensures you will one day return to the city.</p> <p>A must-see is the Joan Miro mosaic that’s set into the promenade as well as one of Barcelona’s oldest hotels, Hotel Oriente.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CT4nLvOgHAW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CT4nLvOgHAW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Barcelona Dreaming (@barcelonadreaming)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Santa Monica Boulevard</strong></p> <p>For all the California dreamers in the world, Santa Monica Boulevard is where they long to be.</p> <p>Lined with palm trees, the 4.5-kilometre thoroughfare runs through West Hollywood, dotted with shops, cafés, bars and restaurants, making its way all to the Santa Monica Pier with a welcoming view of the Pacific Ocean.</p> <p>It’s pretty hard to believe that, as late as the 1980s, Santa Monica Boulevard was not landscaped, with practically nothing but abandoned railroad tracks.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKbmGWCAkc5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKbmGWCAkc5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Official LuxAway Competitions (@luxawaycompetitions)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Orchard Road: Singapore</strong></p> <p>The home of Singapore’s most famous shopping precinct, this 2-kilometre-odd-long road dates back to the 1830s, although it was then unnamed, eventually getting its famous moniker due to the fact that it once led to a number of fruit orchards as well as nutmeg and pepper plantations.</p> <p>Today, Orchard Road offers visitors thousands of businesses which include all kinds of shops, restaurants, cafes, hotels, and nightclubs.</p> <p>The official residence of Singapore’s president can be found at the eastern end of Orchard Road and the stunning Singapore Botanic Gardens towards the western end.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CL1q7tBDNxq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CL1q7tBDNxq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Lemjay Lucas Photography (@lemjaylucas)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Bourbon Street</strong></p> <p><span>The heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, Bourbon Street comes alive at night – and we’re not only talking about Mardi Gras! </span></p> <p><span>Lined with strip clubs, bars, restaurants and shops, it’s practically a non-stop party on weekends, allowing visitors to get the most of NOLA’s nightlife. </span></p> <p><span>A bar crawl with friends is essential, and with traditional Louisiana music as the soundtrack to your night, it’s bound to be one you’ll never forget.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CEa35GuFIp7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CEa35GuFIp7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Eileen Chauff Romero (@iluvnola2)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Via Monte Napoleone</strong></p> <p><span>Milan: it’s one of the major fashion capitals of the world. </span></p> <p><span>Via Monte Napoleone (the latter half of its name was due to Milan being the capital of the Napoleonic Italian Republic at the start of the 19th century) is a street steeped in history, which also happens to house a slew of popular boutiques, from world-renowned brands like Bulgari and Dior to upscale local Italian designers. </span></p> <p><span>It’s a fashion mecca for budding designers and everyday fashionistas alike.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYoP2xpovVn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CYoP2xpovVn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Viktoriya Gorokhova (@viktorissima)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Hollywood Walk of Fame</strong></p> <p><span>Stretching block after block (after block) on Hollywood Boulevard, the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles boasts more than 2,500 pink stars on its sidewalks, honouring a myriad of celebrities for their achievements in the entertainment industry. </span></p> <p><span>With approximately 10 million visitors every year, many tourists pose for the requisite ground shot alongside the star of their favourite celebrities, both past and present. </span></p> <p><span>And, on your way from one end of the boulevard to the other, a stop at TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theater) where many celebrities have left their mark – literally – is a must.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CQ9xMeQLqdj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CQ9xMeQLqdj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Hollywood Walk Of Fame (@hwdwalkoffame)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Royal Mile</strong></p> <p><span>Located in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Royal Mile is a collection of connecting streets exactly one mile long, that includes Castlehill, Lawn market, Abbey Strand and noteworthy landmarks such as St Giles’ Cathedral and the Heart of Midlothian, a beautiful heart-shaped mosaic in the road.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_sVs7qjbsA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_sVs7qjbsA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Royal Mile (@royalmile_edinburgh)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/destinations/the-worlds-most-famous-streets?pages=2" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

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What causes a tsunami? An ocean scientist explains the physics of these destructive waves

<p>On Jan. 15, 2022, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in Tonga erupted, sending a tsunami racing across the Pacific Ocean in all directions.</p> <p>As word of the eruption spread, government agencies on surrounding islands and in places as far away as New Zealand, Japan and even the U.S. West Coast issued tsunami warnings. Only about 12 hours after the initial eruption, tsunami waves a few feet tall <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/15/asia/tsunami-warning-tonga-volcano-intl-hnk/index.html">hit California shorelines</a> – more than 5,000 miles away from the eruption.</p> <p>I’m a <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=kAGkuGgAAAAJ&amp;hl=en&amp;oi=ao">physical oceanographer</a> who studies waves and turbulent mixing in the ocean. Tsunamis are one of my favorite topics to teach my students because the physics of how they move through oceans is so simple and elegant.</p> <p>Waves that are a few feet tall hitting a beach in California might not sound like the destructive waves the term calls to mind, nor what you see in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhdSbCUn-oE">footage of tragic tsunamis from the past</a>. But tsunamis are not normal waves, no matter the size. So how are tsunamis different from other ocean waves? What generates them? How do they travel so fast? And why are they so destructive?</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441389/original/file-20220118-17-1wdrep5.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441389/original/file-20220118-17-1wdrep5.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="A satellite view a large ash cloud and shockwave." /></a> <span class="caption">When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted, it launched ash into the atmosphere, created a powerful shock wave and displaced a huge amount of water, generating a tsunami that raced across the ocean.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tonga_Volcano_Eruption_2022-01-15_0410Z_to_0550Z.gif#/media/File:Tonga_Volcano_Eruption_2022-01-15_0410Z_to_0550Z.gif" class="source">Japan Meteorological Agency via WikimediaCommons</a>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" class="license">CC BY</a></span></p> <h2>Deep displacement</h2> <p>Most waves are <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-makes-the-worlds-biggest-surfable-waves-150600">generated by wind</a> as it blows over the ocean’s surface, transferring energy to and displacing the water. This process creates the waves you see at the beach every day.</p> <p>Tsunamis are created by an entirely different mechanism. When an underwater earthquake, volcanic eruption or landslide displaces a large amount of water, that energy has to go somewhere – so it generates a series of waves. Unlike wind-driven waves where the energy is confined to the upper layer of the ocean, the energy in a series of tsunami waves extends throughout the entire depth of the ocean. Additionally, a lot more water is displaced than in a wind-driven wave.</p> <p>Imagine the difference in the waves that are created if you were to blow on the surface of a swimming pool compared to the waves that are created when someone jumps in with a big cannonball dive. The cannonball dive displaces a lot more water than blowing on the surface, so it creates a much bigger set of waves.</p> <p>Earthquakes can easily move huge amounts of water and cause dangerous tsunamis. Same with large undersea landslides. In the case of the Tonga tsunami, the massive explosion of the volcano displaced the water. Some scientists are speculating that the eruption <a href="https://youtu.be/B54HbfqDbK4">also caused an undersea landslide</a> that contributed to the large amount of displaced water. Future research will help confirm whether this is true or not.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/etVdMBjAVm0?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <span class="caption">This simulation from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows how tsunami waves propagated away from an earthquake that occurred about 600 miles from Tonga in 2021.</span></p> <h2>Tsunami waves travel fast</h2> <p>No matter the cause of a tsunami, after the water is displaced, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3BDBAAAA7D4EB2DA">waves propagate outward</a> in all directions – similarly to when a stone is thrown into a serene pond.</p> <p>Because the energy in tsunami waves reaches all the way to the bottom of the ocean, the depth of the sea floor is the primary factor that determines how fast they move. Calculating the speed of a tsunami is actually quite simple. You just multiply the depth of the ocean – 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) on average – by gravity and take the square root. Doing this, you get an average speed of about 440 miles per hour (700 kilometers per hour). This is much faster than the speed of typical waves, which can <a href="https://www.surfline.com/surf-news/fast-swell-travel/87799">range from about 10 to 30 mph</a> (15 to 50 kph).</p> <p>This equation is what oceanographers use to estimate when a tsunami will reach faraway shores. The tsunami on Jan. 15 hit Santa Cruz, California, 12 hours and 12 minutes after the initial eruption in Tonga. Santa Cruz is 5,280 miles (8,528 kilometers) from Tonga, which means that the tsunami traveled at 433 mph (697 kph) – nearly identical to the speed estimate calculated using the ocean’s average depth.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441392/original/file-20220118-17-oocmnd.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441392/original/file-20220118-17-oocmnd.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="A flooded airport runway covered in debris." /></a> <span class="caption">Many tsunamis, including the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, move inland and can flood areas far from the coast.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SendaiAirportMarch16.jpg#/media/File:SendaiAirportMarch16.jpg" class="source">U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse via WikimediaCommons</a></span></p> <h2>Destruction on land</h2> <p>Tsunamis are rare compared to ubiquitous wind-driven waves, but they are often much more destructive. The <a href="https://www.britannica.com/event/Indian-Ocean-tsunami-of-2004">2004 Indian Ocean tsunami</a> killed 225,000 people. <a href="https://dx.doi.org/10.2188%2Fjea.JE20120114">More than 20,000 lost their lives</a> in the 2011 Japan tsunami.</p> <p>What makes tsunamis so much more destructive than normal waves?</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441394/original/file-20220118-19-v4uwmj.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441394/original/file-20220118-19-v4uwmj.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="An animation showing waves approaching a shoreline." /></a> <span class="caption">As waves approach shore, they get pushed upward by the rising seafloor.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Propagation_du_tsunami_en_profondeur_variable.gif#/media/File:Propagation_du_tsunami_en_profondeur_variable.gif" class="source">Régis Lachaume via Wikimedia Commons</a>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/" class="license">CC BY-SA</a></span></p> <p>In the open ocean, tsunami waves can be small and may even be undetectable by a boat at the surface. But as the tsunami approaches land, the ocean gets progressively shallower and all the wave energy that extended thousands of feet to the bottom of the deep ocean gets compressed. The displaced water needs to go somewhere. The only place to go is up, so the waves get taller and taller as they approach shore.</p> <p>When tsunamis get to shore, they often do not crest and break like a typical ocean wave. Instead, they are more like a large wall of water that can inundate land near the coast. It is as if sea level were to suddenly rise by a few feet or more. This can cause <a href="https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/tsunamis-and-tsunami-hazards">flooding and very strong currents</a> that can easily sweep people, cars and buildings away.</p> <p>Luckily, tsunamis are rare and not nearly as much of a surprise as they once were. There is now an extensive array of bottom pressure sensors, called <a href="https://nctr.pmel.noaa.gov/Dart/">DART buoys</a>, that can sense a tsunami wave and allow government agencies to <a href="https://www.noaa.gov/explainers/us-tsunami-warning-system">send warnings</a> prior to the arrival of the tsunami.</p> <p>If you live near a coast – especially on the Pacific Ocean where the vast majority of tsunamis occur – be sure to <a href="https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/tsunami-information-sheet.pdf">know your tsunami escape route</a> for getting to higher ground, and listen to tsunami warnings if you receive one.</p> <p>The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano severed the main communication cable that connects the people of Tonga to the rest of the world. While the science of tsunamis can be fascinating, these are serious natural disasters. Only a <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-60039617">few deaths have been reported</a> so far from Tonga, but many people are missing and the true extent of the damage from the tsunami is still unknown.<!-- 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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/175213/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><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sally-warner-1179849">Sally Warner</a>, Assistant Professor of Climate Science, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/brandeis-university-1308">Brandeis University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-causes-a-tsunami-an-ocean-scientist-explains-the-physics-of-these-destructive-waves-175213">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Gado via Getty Images</em></p>

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2021 was one of the hottest years on record – and it could also be the coldest we’ll ever see again

<p>Well, it’s official: 2021 was one of the planet’s seven hottest years since records began, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) declared this week. The year was about 1.11℃ above pre-industrial levels – the seventh year in a row that the average global temperature rise edged over 1℃.</p> <p>The WMO report echoes <a href="https://www.noaa.gov/news/2021-was-worlds-6th-warmest-year-on-record">two separate</a> <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/2021-tied-for-6th-warmest-year-in-continued-trend-nasa-analysis-shows">official US analyses</a> released last week that found 2021 was the sixth hottest year on record, tied with 2018.</p> <p>For many of us in Australia and overseas, however, 2021 may have felt generally colder and rainier than usual. This is because of the effect of back-to-back La Niña events, a natural phenomenon that brings cooler, rainier weather in our region.</p> <p>The fact 2021 was among the world’s hottest years despite these cooling forces shows just how strong the long-term warming trend is. Indeed, 2021 may well be the coldest year we’ll ever experience again. Let’s reflect on the year that was, and what we can expect for this year and beyond.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PiR6TnAx36E?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <span class="caption">2021 was one of the seven warmest years on record, WMO consolidated data shows.</span></p> <h2>La Niña dampens the heat, but not enough</h2> <p>2021 started and ended with La Niña events. While it’s unusual for this climate phenomenon to occur two years in a row, <a href="https://theconversation.com/back-so-soon-la-nina-heres-why-were-copping-two-soggy-summers-in-a-row-173684">it’s not unheard of</a>.</p> <p>In La Niña years, we see the global average temperature decrease by about 0.1-0.2℃. So how does it work?</p> <p>During La Niña we see cool water from deep in the Pacific Ocean rise to the surface. This happens when wind strength increases at the equator, which pushes warmer water to the west and allows more cool water to rise off the coast of South America.</p> <p>Essentially, the net transfer of energy from the surface to the deeper ocean brings the average global surface temperature down. While La Niña is a natural phenomenon (it’s not the result of human activities), human-caused climate change remains a constant underlying influence that sets a long-term warming trend.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/437382/original/file-20211213-25-9bnwpl.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/437382/original/file-20211213-25-9bnwpl.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">A schematic showing interactions between the atmosphere and ocean during a La Niña.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Bureau of Meteorology.</span></span></p> <p>The La Niña conditions of 2021 took the edge off the global average surface temperature. Parts of Australia, southern Africa and northwestern North America saw cooler temperatures during 2021 compared to recent years as the effects of La Niña kicked in.</p> <p>Unless we have another strong La Niña very soon, we’re going to keep seeing even hotter years than 2021 for the foreseeable future until net global greenhouse gas emissions cease.</p> <h2>A year with massive, extreme events</h2> <p>As the world warms we’re becoming more accustomed to extreme events, especially severe heatwaves. This was no different for 2021, which was characterised one incredibly extreme heat event in particular, which occurred in western North America.</p> <p>In late June and early July, heat built over northwest United States and southwest Canada. <a href="https://theconversation.com/extreme-heat-waves-in-a-warming-world-dont-just-break-records-they-shatter-them-164919">New temperature records were set across the region</a> – at some sites, by several degrees. A staggering 49.6℃ was recorded in Lytton, British Columbia, which is Canada’s highest temperature measurement.</p> <p>This heatwave was disastrous, including in Seattle and Portland where <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/08/11/climate/deaths-pacific-northwest-heat-wave.html">death rates spiked</a>. Soon after, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-02/lytton-fire-record-temperatures-heat-dome-canada-heatwave/100261768">wildfire destroyed</a> the town of Lytton.</p> <p>While many other parts of the world also saw heatwaves, including significant events in Europe and Asia, the western North American heatwave stands out. The scale of this event would have been <a href="https://www.worldweatherattribution.org/western-north-american-extreme-heat-virtually-impossible-without-human-caused-climate-change/">virtually impossible without human-caused climate change</a>.</p> <p>Severe floods were also a feature of 2021 in many places. Short bursts of extreme rainfall that bring flash flooding are becoming more frequent and intense due to the human influence on the climate. We saw especially devastating events in <a href="https://www.science.org/content/article/europe-s-deadly-floods-leave-scientists-stunned">central Europe</a> and in <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-57861067">China</a> in July.</p> <h2>Australia’s coolest year since 2012</h2> <p>Australia not only experienced <a href="https://theconversation.com/back-so-soon-la-nina-heres-why-were-copping-two-soggy-summers-in-a-row-173684">back-to-back La Niña events</a>, but also the <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-wet-winter-a-soggy-spring-what-is-the-negative-indian-ocean-dipole-and-why-is-it-so-important-164957">negative Indian Ocean Dipole</a> – a bit like the Indian Ocean’s version of La Niña, bringing cool, rainier weather to Australia during winter and spring.</p> <p>Both left their mark, with Australia experiencing its <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/#tabs=Tracker&amp;tracker=timeseries">coolest year since 2012</a> and its <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/#tabs=Tracker&amp;tracker=timeseries&amp;tQ=graph%3Drranom%26area%3Daus%26season%3D0112%26ave_yr%3D0">wettest year since 2016</a>.</p> <p>And still, 2021 was warmer than any year in the observational series prior to 1980. In fact, Australia is warming faster than the world as a whole, with <a href="https://theconversation.com/climate-change-has-already-hit-australia-unless-we-act-now-a-hotter-drier-and-more-dangerous-future-awaits-ipcc-warns-165396">Australian temperatures</a> already up <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/state-of-the-climate/australias-changing-climate.shtml">about 1.4℃ since 1910</a>.</p> <p>We also saw major floods in Australia that inundated <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-20/nsw-floods-break-120-year-old-rain-records/100079400">eastern New South Wales</a> in March, and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/dec/01/queensland-floods-950-evacuated-from-inglewood-as-rising-rivers-threaten-towns">Queensland</a> more recently.</p> <p>However, the influence of climate change on extreme rainfall in Australia is less clear than for other parts of the world because Australia has a high climate variability - swinging from drought to flooding rains and back again. Another reason is because our major floods are often caused by extreme rain that falls for several days, and the effect of climate change on this type of rain is difficult to unpick.</p> <h2>What’s in store for 2022 and beyond</h2> <p>We can’t forecast the weather beyond about ten days, but we can make a couple of forecasts for 2022 with confidence.</p> <p>First, while 2022 may experience a slight cooling influence from <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/outlook/">the ongoing La Niña</a>, it will still be among our warmest years. To have an individual year as cool as those we experienced as recently as the 1990s is exceptionally unlikely due to our high greenhouse gas emissions.</p> <p>Second, there will be more extreme heat events somewhere on Earth this year, because our influence on the climate has <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-hot-weather-records-continue-to-tumble-worldwide-86158">greatly increased the odds of record-breaking heatwaves occurring</a>.</p> <p>Even if we start acting on climate change with more urgency, we will experience more frequent and intense heatwaves in coming years. This means we need to <a href="https://theconversation.com/adapting-cities-to-a-hotter-world-3-essential-reads-120634">build greater resilience to these extremes</a> and adapt cities and towns to a hotter world.</p> <p>Beyond 2022, we know we will see continued global warming until we stop emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. And with global carbon dioxide emissions rebounding to <a href="https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/21/highlights.htm">near-record levels in 2021</a> after a brief drop in 2020 from the pandemic, we’re a long way off stopping global warming.</p> <p>Rapid decarbonisation is needed to reduce further warming of the planet. It’s not too late to <a href="https://theconversation.com/theres-no-end-to-the-damage-humans-can-wreak-on-the-climate-this-is-how-bad-its-likely-to-get-166031">avoid the most dangerous climate change impacts</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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/175238/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><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-king-103126">Andrew King</a>, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/2021-was-one-of-the-hottest-years-on-record-and-it-could-also-be-the-coldest-well-ever-see-again-175238">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: AP Photo/Michael Pappas</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Woman avoids baggage fees with genius neck pillow hack

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While many travellers love to take advantage of cheap airline seats, the deals often come hand in hand with hefty baggage fees.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One savvy TikTok user has devised a unique way to avoid the extra charges for luggage, using a travel neck pillow. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The traveller, who shares videos under the name @anayotothe on TikTok, uses the cheap neck pillow as a secret carry-on bag to get out of those pesky extra fees. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Trying the Spirit and Frontier pillow hack cuz I ain't tryna pay $60 for a carry on," the woman wrote on the video, referencing two American airlines.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She captioned the video, “My flight is in three hours let’s see how this goes!”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The woman picked up the travel pillow for just $9 from the US supermarket Walgreens, and proceeded to take the pillow stuffing out of the case. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She then stuffed all the clothes that wouldn’t fit in her backpack into the pillowcase, which could still be used to stay comfortable during her flight. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Everything fits except for this shirt!" the woman exclaimed, while showing followers her clever technique.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After sharing the video with her followers, the woman later confirmed that she boarded her flight successfully with her hidden carry-on luggage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"On the way to Vegas and the way back, I didn't have to pay, with my travel pillow and my backpack," she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While dozens of people commented to thank the savvy traveller for the tip, others also questioned if it was worth it to save money. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When questioned about her methods, the woman responded, "It took five minutes, also it was an hour flight… there was no reason I should pay $300 for a flight if you can just take one of the budget airlines."</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Travel Tips

Health

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Hundreds gather to mourn Charlise Mutten

<p dir="ltr">A sombre, candlelight vigil<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/tears-flow-at-vigil-for-murdered-schoolgirl-charlise-mutten-211910839.html" target="_blank">has been held</a><span> </span>for nine-year-old Charlise Mutten, who was allegedly murdered while holidaying with family in the NSW Blue Mountains.</p> <p dir="ltr">The vigil, held at Tweed Heads near the Queensland-NSW border, saw locals gather from 7.15 pm on Wednesday night.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mourners held candles and left bouquets and messages outside the gates of Tweed Heads Public School, the school Charlise had been attending.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7846947/vigil1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/70b616652e7e46529b4b3413b3ad7893" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>More than 100 people gathered for the candlelight vigil held for Charlise Mutten outside Tweed Heads Public School, which she attended. Images: 9News</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the light rain, about 150 people gathered outside the school for the vigil, where several speakers shared emotional tributes to the young girl.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Charlise loved coming to our little lunchtime drama club,”<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/vigil-for-nine-year-old-girl-found-in-barrel-held-tweed-heads-man-charged-murder/3644467d-5827-412f-bde6-6ac33c28b31d?ocid=Social-9NewsGC" target="_blank">said</a><span> </span>Emily Carey, a teacher at Tweed Heads Public School.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She was always funny, very entertaining, and full of wit.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another message, written by a classmate, read: “Dear Charlise, I was in your class in year two, it makes me really sad what happened to you.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You were a really nice person and I wish you were coming back to school with me.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Rest in Peace.”</p> <p dir="ltr">A message on the school’s notice board read: “don’t count the days, make the days count”.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a statement on Wednesday morning, the school said it was “absolutely devastated” by the young girl’s death.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftweedheadspublicschool%2Fposts%2F339127968218848&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=500" width="500" height="770" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">“Charlise was a much loved member of our school who brightened all our days, every day,” the statement read.</p> <p dir="ltr">The school<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/devastated-more-details-released-on-charlise-mutten-as-community-mourns" target="_blank">shared</a><span> </span>a recent photo of Charlise holding a literacy award she received at their end-of-year presentation day.</p> <p dir="ltr">Prime Minister Scott Morrison also shared his condolences for the family after the five-day search for the missing girl tragically ended.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You hope for the best, you pray for it, but it doesn’t always occur,” Mr Morrison said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7846946/vigil2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/6cb3d994e5344e3fa6a866a6f5ecb986" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Students who knew and attended school with Charlise were among those who left messages for her at Wednesday night’s vigil. Images: 9News</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Charlise’s body was discovered near the Colo River after police and volunteers from the Rural Fire Service and SES searched bushland around the Wildenstein Private Gardens at Mount Wilson, about 120 kilometres northwest of Sydney.</p> <p dir="ltr">Detectives searched the property - where Charlise was last seen alive - for several hours on Tuesday before her body was found.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her stepfather, Justin Stein, has been<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/charlise-mutten-s-accused-killer-fronts-court-with-two-requests" target="_blank">arrested and charged</a><span> </span>with her murder, with police alleging he attempted to dispose of her body in inner Sydney before travelling back to the Colo River.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Stein appeared before a magistrate’s court on Wednesday, where he was refused bail.</p> <p dir="ltr">The case is due back in court on March 18.</p> <p dir="ltr">Investigations into Charlise’s death are ongoing, with police yet to determine how she died or whether there was a motive behind her murder.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: 9News</em></p>

Caring

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Keep it down! Sleeping brains are on the lookout for unfamiliar voices

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though it seems logical, using a different voice around someone who is sleeping may actually disturb their sleep more than just using our regular voices, according to a new study.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Swiss and Austrian researchers </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.scimex.org/newsfeed/your-brain-is-on-the-lookout-for-unfamiliar-voices-when-you-sleep" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">have found</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that when we’re asleep, our brains respond to unfamiliar voices more than familiar ones, after detecting large-scale brain activity and an increase in brain waves linked to sensory disturbances during sleep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The study, published in the journal </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://cgphx04.na1.hubspotlinks.com/Btc/OM+113/cgPHX04/VW1TS170Fg4VW3nRxd04VpNVZW6hm-BV4D8bTrN8mSy3V5nKv5V3Zsc37CgRZmW57tt3s7xXDwmW2sZSKw1Rcsc0W1jKxBG7RK4KSN1sdn9WxYkk6W1svsnn3BZ_hHW1GkP776LHK-nVj9H699cM-SsW2yKSsW3D3lmnW2NQ6V03Db9hQN1TFjPpCMLNJV9GX5r8BxvdFW68smqv4RyYXWW9kNw942hZkJbVQF1G43LlQLFW8ktNxM1V43rqW8sMdbs5XX2vYW1XC0zR13xsb4W3PxNr23y4gRdW59jnQR1wVRFFW5qGsV046lL63W2Yyh5c9fbVL3W4R1B4d3BHMNyW2flvj11090kFW2gvPvl3LTLx3N85kwBh5Xjd4VDhqMH2k-VDhW1GYNYm2BlY0nW6h1YgK1j1X9yN6ckPYgVJPb5W531XTd5TMPCmW1PGjhS1B7VFnW1TdSmN6RDm-M33XN1" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">JNeurosci</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, saw University of Salzburg researchers monitor the brain activity of sleeping adults in response to familiar and unfamiliar voices.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though both familiar and unfamiliar voices triggered the particular type of brain wave - called K-complexes - the researchers found that more of these brain waves were triggered by unfamiliar voices, which were accompanied by changes in brain activity linked to sensory processing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Interestingly, reactions to the unknown voices decreased as the night wore on and as the voices became more familiar. This suggests that our brains may still be able to learn while we’re asleep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The team also suggest that the brain waves they detected allow our brains to enter a “sentinel processing mode” while we snooze, which allows our brains to stay asleep but still be able to respond to stimuli in our environment.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Mind

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15 memory exercises proven to keep your brain sharp

<p><strong>Draw a map</strong></p> <p>Research shows that building a mental map is a serious brain-booster. Cab drivers in London, for example, are required to memorise 25,000 streets and 20,000 landmarks in order to qualify for a licence. But new geography skills aren’t the only perk; neurologists at the University of London found that these cabbies have significantly larger hippocampi, or regions of the brain that store and organise memories.</p> <p>Memory exercise: draw a map – of your neighbourhood, your commute, or another familiar area – completely from memory. Then, repeat this exercise each time you visit a new place or take a different route home.</p> <p><strong>Quiz yourself</strong></p> <p>Forget fancy computer games; paper and pen is the tried-and-true method for improving your memory, experts say.</p> <p>Memory exercise: try making and memorising a list of grocery items, tasks to complete, etc. Then, see how many items you can recall after one or two hours. The longer (and more complicated) the list, the tougher the workout for your brain.</p> <p><strong>Practise simple maths problems</strong></p> <p>Did you think you could bid maths farewell after graduating high school? Think again. According to experts, an addition or subtraction problem a day can keep cognitive decline away.</p> <p>Memory exercise: solve a few simple maths problems in your head each morning – no pencil, paper, or calculator allowed. To up the ante, try to walk or cook at the same time.</p> <p><strong>Test your taste buds</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Cooking is a win-win for your brain. Both making and eating a meal activates the brain regions associated with smell, touch, sight and taste. Plus, using your senses can also improve your recall. In one study, adults who looked at a series of images were more likely to remember those with a fragrance than the ones without.</p> <p>Memory exercise: as you chew, take a moment to distinguish the taste of individual ingredients in the dish, all the way down to the faintest herbs and spices.</p> <p><strong>Tell a story</strong></p> <p>Storytelling is a great mental stimulant, helping you focus on important details, associate emotion with your memories, and recall important life events with ease later on. It has been used as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease too.</p> <p>Memory exercise: before you go to sleep at night, replay the day’s events in your head. Try to recall the details from each moment, starting from the minute you woke up to when you climbed into bed.</p> <p><strong>Take a class</strong></p> <p>To keep your noggin in tip-top shape, it’s important to keep learning – no matter your age. Experts believe that continuing to learn throughout your life can prevent mental ageing and boost your memory.</p> <p>Memory exercise: whether it is cooking or calculus, enrol in a class that will teach you something new. Trust us, your brain will thank you.</p> <p><strong>Play a new sport</strong></p> <p>Getting your heart pumping can also keep your brain bumping. Athletic activities that stimulate your mind and body, such as yoga, golf, or tennis, have been linked to improved brain function and energy levels.</p> <p>Memory exercise: sign up to learn a sport you have never played before, and study up on the rules and procedures.</p> <p><strong>Challenge your fine-motor skills</strong></p> <p>Like learning a sport or enrolling in a new class, mastering an activity that requires considerable hand-eye coordination can keep your brain active and healthy.</p> <p>Memory exercise: pick up a new hobby that requires you to use your hands, such as knitting, painting or assembling a jigsaw puzzle. Even better, chew gum while you do it; one study found that chewing gum while completing a task could improve concentration and memory.</p> <p><strong>Memorise phone numbers</strong></p> <p>Even a short brain-training session can make a big difference for your memory. By challenging your brain with memorisation puzzles, experts believe you can protect your brain cells and strengthen the connections between them.</p> <p>Memory exercise: impress your friends by memorising their phone numbers. Dr Ashraf Al recommends dividing each 10-digit number into three sections; for example, 801 555 8372 is much easier to remember than 8015558372.</p> <p><strong>Create a mnemonic phrase</strong></p> <p>Making a mnemonic device is one foolproof way to store an important rule, fact, or to-do list in your memory bank. Some are acronyms, such as RICE, (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), a first-aid treatment for injuries. Others come in the form of sentences, like ‘spring forward, fall back’, a reminder to reset your clock twice a year.</p> <p>Memory exercise: the next time you need to memorise something in a hurry, come up with a clever acronym or sentence for it.</p> <p><strong>Learn a foreign language</strong></p> <p>Studies show that learning something new and complex over a long period of time can protect an ageing brain. Not only are listening and hearing exercises great mental stimulants, but learning a new language can also reduce your risk of cognitive decline.</p> <p>Memory exercise: enrol in a foreign language course at your local college or online. If you’re strapped for time,<span> </span><em>Rosetta Stone</em><span> </span>or<span> </span><em>Duolingo</em><span> </span>will allow you to learn at your own pace.</p> <p><strong>Increase your processing speed</strong></p> <p>Quick on your feet, or slow to the punch? If your answer is the latter, your brain might be in trouble. Learning to react and process things at a fast pace can ward off dementia, according to research published in the journal<span> </span><em>Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience</em>.</p> <p>Memory exercise: try PQRST, a five-step method for processing lengthy written information quickly. The acronym stands for: Preview or skim the material, ask Questions about the document’s main points, Reread it, Study the answers to your questions, and Test yourself.</p> <p><strong>Repeat it out loud</strong></p> <p>Saying information out loud can increase your chances of remembering it later, research says. In a study published in the journal<span> </span><em>Memory</em>, subjects who read written information out loud showed a five to 15 per cent boost in retention.</p> <p>Memory exercise: to remember something you have just done, heard, or read, repeat it out loud; doing so will nail the memory down in your mind.</p> <p><strong>Conserve your mental energy</strong></p> <p>Don’t waste valuable brainpower trying to remember where you put your keys or the time of your next doctor’s appointment. By removing unnecessary distractions, you can focus your energy on new information you actually want to remember, instead.</p> <p>Memory exercise: keep a calendar or planner, and designate a space for items you often lose.</p> <p><strong>Use visual cues</strong></p> <p>Last but certainly not least, there’s no harm in the occasional string around your finger to jog your memory.</p> <p>Memory exercise: place Post-It notes on your computer keyboard, desk, or fridge to serve as reminders throughout the day. You can wear a bracelet or put an alarm on your phone, too.</p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Brooke Nelson. This article first appeared in </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/15-memory-exercises-proven-to-keep-your-brain-sharp" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Mind

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No, chivalry is not dead - but it's about time it was

<p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p>It is customary in many Western cultures for men to offer a range of special courtesies to women. This includes paying on dates, carrying heavy objects, pulling out chairs, opening doors, and allowing women to go first, even when the man was there first.</p> <p>Despite being generally seen as polite and even romantic, these acts of chivalry – where men are excessively courteous to women simply because they are women – have a dark side.</p> <p>What does research tell us?</p> <h2>Benevolent sexism</h2> <p>Psychologists refer to the paternalistic attitudes underlying these behaviours as<span> </span>benevolent sexism. Benevolent sexism involves the belief that men should cherish and protect women, and “put them on a pedestal”. This is because women are viewed as being more morally pure, weaker, and in need of protection.</p> <p>Although benevolent sexism has a positive tone, research has found people higher on these attitudes<span> </span>also tend to be higher<span> </span>on hostile sexism. Hostile sexism involves overtly negative and suspicious views of women - this is what people generally think about when they think of sexism.</p> <p>While it may seem paradoxical that benevolent sexism and hostile sexism are correlated,<span> </span>ambivalent sexism theory<span> </span>holds that benevolent sexism is reserved for “good” women who conform to traditional gender roles. Hostile sexism tends to be directed towards women who are perceived to be seeking to usurp men’s power.</p> <h2>Negative effects of benevolent sexism</h2> <p>Research shows there are a range of negative outcomes associated with benevolent sexism.</p> <p>For instance, one experiment found exposure to benevolently sexist comments led women to perform worse on a cognitive task, and to<span> </span>be more likely<span> </span>to think of themselves as incompetent.</p> <p>A more recent experiment found benevolently sexist feedback led to women displaying cardiovascular responses<span> </span>similar to experiencing threat.</p> <p>In the context of intimate relationships, men higher on benevolent sexism have been found to be more likely to provide dependency-oriented help to their female partners, such as providing solutions that overlooked their partner’s skills and efforts. These women<span> </span>subsequently felt<span> </span>less competent and less well-regarded by their partners.</p> <p>It may be harder to recognise this form of sexism because it can’t be measured in a pay gap or in the number of women in executive roles. It happens in everyday interactions between people, and often in private. People<span> </span>underestimate<span> </span>how harmful benevolent sexism is and overestimate how harmful hostile sexism is.</p> <p>The seemingly positive tone of benevolent sexism may even be perceived by some as being advantageous to women, but the scientific research does not bear this out.</p> <h2>Why are women drawn to benevolent sexism?</h2> <p>Despite all the negatives, women tend to<span> </span>prefer benevolently sexist men. This preference is even stronger among women who have<span> </span>high levels of insecurity<span> </span>about their intimate relationships.</p> <p>This preference for benevolently sexist men may be driven by women’s<span> </span>perception<span> </span>that they are warmer people. Recent research has found women saw benevolently sexist men as more attractive partners because they were seen as being more willing to invest, despite also recognising them as patronising and undermining.</p> <p>The preference for benevolent sexism<span> </span>may also be driven<span> </span>by women’s understanding that it offers an antidote to hostile sexism. This is supported by<span> </span>experimental research<span> </span>finding women were more likely to endorse benevolent sexism when they were exposed to information suggesting that men have negative attitudes towards women.</p> <h2>The poisoned chalice</h2> <p>So why are there so many negatives to something that is so widely appealing?</p> <p>One problem with benevolent sexism is the reinforcement of traditional gender roles about how women and men should relate to one another. It’s the same old problem that who we are or what we want should be predetermined by our sex rather than our own preferences and personalities.</p> <p>But as the above research suggests, an even bigger problem may be that benevolent sexism has the capacity to undermine women’s performance and well-being. There’s an inherent condescension in benevolent sexism that views women as less competent than men. This is not to say individual acts of kindness are a problem – but the double-standards driving them are a problem if they disadvantage one gender.</p> <p>The broadest implication of all this may be that benevolent sexism enacts men’s agency and dominance and women’s passivity and subordination. Men take a higher-status role as providers and protectors, while women play the role of weak and dependent followers.</p> <p>By rewarding submissiveness, benevolent sexism is antithetical to women’s power, and<span> </span>an impediment<span> </span>to women’s attainment of leadership roles. It may be an added challenge to be a figure of authority when you are expected to be extra pleasant and deferential.</p> <p>Benevolent sexism enables men to have loving relationships with women while maintaining male dominance in interpersonal relationships. It goes hand-in-hand with hostile sexism, which punishes women who challenge the status quo and seek gender equality. Benevolent sexism is the reward women get for being submissive to men, and that kindness is conditional upon their conformity to traditional gender roles.</p> <p>Achieving gender equality might mean sacrificing some of these perceived perks.</p> <p>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/no-chivalry-is-not-dead-but-its-about-time-it-was-174197">The Conversation</a>.</p>

Caring

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Huge payday for Cleo Smith's parents

<p dir="ltr">Just weeks after the alleged abduction of four-year-old Cleo Smith, the girl’s parents reportedly signed a $2 million deal with Channel Nine.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cleo Smith made international headlines in November after she was allegedly abducted from her family’s campsite in Western Australia, before being found alive and well 18 days later.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cleo's mother Ellie Smith and stepfather Jake Gliddon agreed to a tell-all interview with 60 Minutes, in what is believed to be Australia’s most expensive television deal.</p> <p dir="ltr">Reportedly organised by high profile talent agent Max Markson, the deal also includes a series of follow-up stories exclusive to Nine-owned publications.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=TAWEB_WRE170_a&amp;dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fnation%2Foutrage-as-nine-network-pays-more-than-2-million-for-cleo-smith-interview%2Fnews-story%2Fcfdf1580eb12f20e1a4f12a391ef6499&amp;memtype=anonymous&amp;mode=premium&amp;v21=dynamic-cold-test-score&amp;V21spcbehaviour=append" target="_blank">The Australian</a>, there is also speculation of a six-part special for streaming service Stan, that young Cleo herself may feature in the interviews.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nine beat out the Seven Network’s <em>Spotlight</em> program for the lucrative deal, despite Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes' “personal interest” in the story.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Nine was scared at the end of the year after they lost their No 1 position – this seems a desperate attempt to regain the mantle … and it won't work,” an inside source told the publication.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the high profile nature of the case, some staff at the network are reportedly horrified by the deal.</p> <p dir="ltr">“What are the possible consequences of asking this young girl to talk about what happened to her, when we don't know what she went through?” one journalist asked.</p> <p dir="ltr">News of the deal comes after a source told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10425069/Cleo-Smith-Parents-sign-Channel-Nine-deal-alleged-abduction-headlines-world.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail Australia</a> that Cleo’s parents were considering changing the four-year-old’s name in order to stop unwanted attention.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple has reportedly been seeking advice from other parents whose children have been through similar ordeals that thrust them into the limelight.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They're worried about the repercussions of the media and so forth down the track,” a source told Daily Mail Australia.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cleo’s parents are reportedly concerned about the impact the media attention could have on her livelihood as she grows up.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They're worried about people making the connection later on down the line,” the source said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Meet your new favourite plant

<p>Most of us are captivated by the thought of a “living fossil”, which is any organism that appeared millions of years ago in the fossil record and survives today, relatively unchanged.</p> <p>The maidenhair tree, <em>Ginkgo biloba</em>, ticks all the boxes of this definition. The genus <em>Ginkgo</em> is well known in China and Japan where it has special significance in Buddhism and Confucianism, and first became known to European botanists in the <a rel="noopener" href="https://e360.yale.edu/features/peter_crane_history_of_ginkgo_earths_oldest_tree" target="_blank">late 1600s</a>.</p> <p>Today, ancient ginkgo fossils can be found all over the world, some of which are almost 300 million years old – a time when dinosaurs roamed the planet. Let’s delve further into what makes this species so remarkable: from its ability to survive nuclear bombs, to its vomit-smelling seeds, to it’s beautiful autumn display.</p> <p><strong>Hardy survivors</strong></p> <p>The ancestral ginkgo evolved so long ago it spread across the super continent Pangaea and was present in both the northern component (Laurasia) and the southern part (Gondwana, which included Australia) when the continents fragmented.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.fossilmuseum.net/plantfossils/Ginkgoites/Ginkgoites.htm" target="_blank">As a result</a> there are fossils, <em>Ginkgo australis</em>, from the cretaceous period about 65-140 million years ago in the Koonwarra Fish Fossil beds near Leongatha, Victoria. There are also much more recent (about 20 million years old) fossils from Tasmania.</p> <p><em>Ginkgo biloba</em> has an intriguing appearance. It can grow up to 35 metres tall with a spreading canopy, and its leaves are a wonderful fan shape, often with a little cleft or notch.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/440760/original/file-20220113-1519-1mak6c5.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/440760/original/file-20220113-1519-1mak6c5.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <em><span class="caption">The wonderful fan shape of their leaves.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Photoholgic/Unsplash</span>, <a rel="noopener" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" target="_blank" class="license">CC BY</a></span></em></p> <p>As you might imagine for a genus dating back almost 300 million years, the maidenhair tree is both hardy and resilient, tolerating a wide range of soil and climatic conditions.</p> <p>The tree is known to be very long-lived and some specimens at temple sites are thought to be over 1,000 years old which, in part, explains <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/maidenhair-tree/9436966" target="_blank">the mystique</a> associated with the species.</p> <p>They have a lignotuber – a modified stem at the base of the trunk containing lots of buds – which allows for sprouting at ground level and multiple stems. The lignotuber allows for rapid recovery from serious environmental stresses such as fire and defoliation.</p> <p>In fact, six trees <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.academia.edu/1135523/Ginkgo_in_Australia" target="_blank">not only survived</a> the bombing of Hiroshima, but recovered quickly, are healthy and <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/10/29/20932379/ginkgo-tree-atomic-bomb-hiroshima-bombing" target="_blank">growing still</a>. Their survival showed the resilience of the ginkgo and the trees became an <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-29920359" target="_blank">important symbol</a> that recovery from disaster was, indeed, possible.</p> <p>Australians can empathise with this as the vibrant re-sprouting of trees after bushfires often plays a similar symbolic role.</p> <p><strong>Stinky seeds and dinosaur food</strong></p> <p>Things continue to get interesting when you consider there are separate male and female trees; a relatively rare feature in modern trees. The male reproductive structures have mobile sperm that swim to the ovule for fertilisation, which is considered a primitive or ancient characteristic.</p> <p>If fertilisation occurs, the female tree produces a seed that resembles a fruit. The seed’s soft fleshy layer is malodorous, with people often describing it as being revolting or smelling of human vomit.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/440761/original/file-20220113-21-1qb28wj.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/440761/original/file-20220113-21-1qb28wj.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <em><span class="caption">The seeds, resembling fruits, are known for its repulsive smell.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></em></p> <p>A pair of female maidenhair trees was planted outside the entrance to the Old Geology building at the University of Melbourne in the 1920s. Since then, staff and students have had to use the side entrance when trees held seeds. This will probably continue for decades to come.</p> <p>Likewise, I know of a couple of female trees that were planted outside the entrance to a major bank branch in Hawthorn, Victoria. It was considered karma by disgruntled customers, until their sudden removal by a desperate manager.</p> <p>The male tree doesn’t smell but produces pollen, which has been known to cause allergies, so be wary of which sex you plant <a rel="noopener" href="https://bie.ala.org.au/species/NZOR-6-74385" target="_blank">and where</a> you plant them.</p> <p>The seed’s strong scent has been linked to its dispersal, as many animals are drawn to strong, even rancid smelling fruits. There’s little evidence as to which animals or birds eat ginkgo seeds today, but there has been speculation the seeds may have been eaten by dinosaurs.</p> <p>Ginkgos <a rel="noopener" href="http://blogs.nature.com/soapboxscience/2011/11/02/the-living-dinosaur" target="_blank">coexisted with dinosaurs</a> for millions of years. It’s easy to imagine a huge herbivorous dinosaur munching on tall maidenhair trees. Sadly, there’s no evidence of gingko seeds in fossilised dinosaur droppings. But for those who are captivated by the connection of a living fossil and dinosaurs, perhaps that fossil is still to be found.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/440754/original/file-20220113-15-6llrxg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/440754/original/file-20220113-15-6llrxg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Ginkgo biloba in Huishan Temple of Huishan Ancient Town, China.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Jerry Wang/Unsplash</span>, <a rel="noopener" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" target="_blank" class="license">CC BY</a></span></p> <p><strong>Ginkgo for gardeners</strong></p> <p><em>Ginkgo biloba</em> has been cultivated for more than 3,000 years, and so whether it grows naturally in the wild is uncertain. Even in China, it grows most often in homes and temples, and there’s very little genetic diversity within the plants suggesting they’ve been grown from cuttings.</p> <p>The tree has been so widely planted it now occurs in major cities and botanic gardens around the world. <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.academia.edu/1135523/Ginkgo_in_Australia" target="_blank">In Australia</a>, many of us live within a few kilometres of a recent planting.</p> <p>Many of the ginkgo trees planted in urban landscapes are males grown from cuttings. But there are different cultivars available from nurseries, with some being all female varieties that are highly prized for their brilliant yellow autumnal colour.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/440751/original/file-20220113-1697-q978np.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/440751/original/file-20220113-1697-q978np.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Bright yellow Ginkgo tree" /></a> <em><span class="caption">Female trees have a stunning autumn display.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></em></p> <p>Apart from allergenic pollen and vile smelling seeds, <em>Ginkgo biloba</em> can have another very annoying or perhaps frustrating habit for gardeners. Young plants can grow very tall before their side branches begin to grow and develop. This form of growth, called bolting, is considered an adaptation to stressed environments, but it’s little consolation when you’ve been growing a gingko for 20 years, it’s over 6m tall and still looks like a bean pole.</p> <p>You have to be patient with slow-growing, long-lived trees, but they’re worth the wait! They rarely, if ever, have pest or disease problems, they are hardy and, despite being cultivated in Europe and North America for centuries, have never become weedy.</p> <p>They may well be described as living fossils, but they are in fact a resilient genus of modern plants that can cope with whatever the environment has thrown at them for over 300 million years.</p> <p>They are the epitome of great survivors and I would not be betting against their chances of surviving for millennia to come.<!-- 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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/164630/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 rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gregory-moore-1779" target="_blank">Gregory Moore</a>, Doctor of Botany, <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722" target="_blank">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/dinosaur-food-and-hiroshima-bomb-survivors-maidenhair-trees-are-living-fossils-and-your-new-favourite-plant-164630" target="_blank">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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Yes, your dog can understand what you’re saying — to a point

<p>Humans are unique in their ability to develop sophisticated language abilities. Language allows us to communicate with each other and live in complex societies. It is key to our advanced cognitive abilities and technological prowess.</p> <p>As a developmental psychologist, I have extensively studied the <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2005-06810-003">role of language in children’s cognitive development</a>, especially their <a href="https://genetic.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Exec-Function-e-book.pdf">executive functions</a> – the cognitive skills that allow them to control their behaviour, plan for the future, solve difficult problems and resist temptation.</p> <h2>Executive functions</h2> <p>The <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1002/9780470880166.hlsd001013">development of executive functions</a> occurs slowly over the course of childhood. As they get older, children get better at organizing their thoughts and controlling their behaviours and emotions. In fact, humans are the only known species to develop advanced executive functions, although other species like <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/wcs.1504">birds, primates</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1323533111">dogs</a> have rudimentary executive functions similar to young children.</p> <p>In humans, our ability to develop <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1017/CBO9780511581533.005">executive functions has been linked to our language development</a>. Language permits us to form and hold representations of our goals and plans in mind, allowing us to govern our behaviour over the long term.</p> <p>What is not clear is whether language actually causes the emergence of executive functions, and whether the relation between language and executive functions exists only in humans.</p> <h2>Canine behaviour</h2> <p>For humans, studying dogs offers the perfect opportunity to consider these questions. First, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-018-01234-1">dogs possess rudimentary executive functions</a>. These can be measured in a variety of ways, including <a href="https://escholarship.org/uc/item/7pb1j56q">asking owners</a> about their dogs’ ability to control their behaviours, as well as <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118469">behavioural tests</a> designed to assess dogs’ control abilities.</p> <p>Second, not only do we expose dogs regularly to human language, but research also indicates that dogs can <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2018.00737">perceive different words</a> and can learn to respond to <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/089279305785594108">specific words</a>. For example, three dogs — two border collies named <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2010.11.007">Chaser</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1097859">Rico</a>, and a Yorkshire terrier named <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0030182">Bailey</a> — learned to respond to over 1,000, 200 and 100 words, respectively.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/440929/original/file-20220114-13-11cnb18.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/440929/original/file-20220114-13-11cnb18.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="a woman talks to her dog while they're sitting beside a lake" /></a> <span class="caption">Dogs are regularly exposed to human language.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">(Shutterstock)</span></span></p> <p>However, many dog language studies have been limited in scope, either examining the word-based responses of only one or a small sample of dogs, or the responses of multiple dogs but only to select words.</p> <p>One exception was a study in which <a href="https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.563.5569&amp;rep=rep1&amp;type=pdf">37 dog owners were asked to list words they believed their dogs responded to consistently</a>. Owners reported that their dogs responded to an average of 29 words, although this likely is an underestimation. Indeed, research using a similar free-recall approach with parents shows that they are <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/1166093">prone to forget many words when asked to generate lists of words to which their babies respond consistently</a>.</p> <h2>Communicating with dogs</h2> <p>Research with human infants does provide a solution for systematically and reliably assessing word-based responding in large samples of dogs. Arguably the best and most widely used measure of early language abilities of infants is the <a href="https://products.brookespublishing.com/The-MacArthur-Bates-Communicative-Development-Inventories-Users-Guide-and-Technical-Manual-Second-Edition-P78.aspx">MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories</a>, a parent-report checklist of words responded to consistently. Remarkably, the number of words selected on the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory predicts children’s <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2019.101379">language development years later</a>.</p> <p>In 2015, I began a collaboration with psychologist Catherine Reeve, at the time a graduate student working on dogs’ scent detection abilities. Our goal was to develop a similar measure of vocabulary for use with dog owners that we could then use to examine links between language and executive functions.</p> <p>We developed a list of 172 words organized in different categories (for example, toys, food, commands, outdoor places) and gave it to an online sample of 165 owners of family and professional dogs. We asked them to select words that their dogs responded to consistently.</p> <p>We found that, on average, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2021.105513">service dogs respond to about 120 words, whereas family pets respond to about 80 words, ranging between 15 to 215 words across all dogs</a>. We also found that certain breed groups, such as herding dogs like border collies and toy dogs like chihuahuas, respond to more words and phrases than other breed types like terriers, retrievers and mixed breeds.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/440930/original/file-20220114-25-t28c2r.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="A woman talks to a group of dogs in a field" /> <span class="caption">Understanding how dogs process language can help train service dogs.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">(Shutterstock)</span></span></p> <p>What we don’t yet know is whether dogs who respond to more words also have better executive functions. We recently assessed 100 dogs on a behavioural measure of executive functions and had their owners identify words on our vocabulary checklist. We are now analysing the results.</p> <p>I first became interested in studying dogs to see what they might tell us about child development. That said, this research might also provide important practical information about dogs. For example, it is very expensive to train puppies for service work and many do not make the final cut. However, if early word-based responding abilities predict later behavioural and cognitive abilities, our measure could become an early and simple tool to help predict which dogs are likely to become good service animals.<!-- 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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/173953/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><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sophie-jacques-1299844">Sophie Jacques</a>, Associate Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/dalhousie-university-1329">Dalhousie University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-your-dog-can-understand-what-youre-saying-to-a-point-173953">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Fabian Gieske/Unsplash</span></span></em></p>

Family & Pets

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Instantly organise your medicine cabinet in a few simple steps

<p><strong>Bathroom organisation hacks</strong></p> <p>Closets, drawers, kitchen cabinets: your home organisation project might focus on these big basics – but, especially considering the times we’re in, your medicine cabinet is a smaller nook-and-cranny that deserves to be meticulously on-point these days.</p> <p>With advice from an infectious disease doctor and a professional organiser, we’ve got your step-by-step medicine cabinet makeover. This organisation process will empower you with streamlined mornings, immune support, and Covid-preventive essentials – and for those unpleasant occasions that creep up, like the common sniffles or sleepless nights.</p> <p>Reset your bathroom game by following this plan that’s loaded with pro tips.</p> <p><strong>Clean and sanitise</strong></p> <p>A good wipedown with warm water and a rag will get off visible goo… but it’s important to follow it up by sanitising every surface, inside and out, advises Dr Margaret Khoury, an infectious disease specialist. Keep in mind that the warm, moist environment of the bathroom is germ heaven, and pathogens can even grow on soap and other hygiene products. Yeah, ew.</p> <p>Pick a product that kills viruses, bacteria and fungi, and follow the directions on the label. Antibacterial products don’t work against viruses, and even cleaners that claim to kill most germs can miss COVID-19. So when choosing cleaning products, like wipes or sprays, go with a<span> </span><a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/disinfectants-use-against-covid-19-artg-legal-supply-australia">TGA-registered disinfectant</a>.</p> <p>Be sure to take out everything (yes, every single thing – bottles, makeup containers and the shelves they sat on) and wipe all of it down. Don’t forget to clean the knob or handle! Think of every surface fingers touch, and go there with that cleaner.</p> <p><strong>Toss like a boss</strong></p> <p>An easy next step is to throw away any expired over-the-counter meds and dried-out makeup. (That beloved eye shadow compact you’ve used since university? Zero judgment – but it’s time to throw it out, stat.)</p> <p>Toss used-up, broken, or non-functional items. It’s OK to purge ruthlessly – you have limited space there, so only necessary items can stay. “If you don’t love it or use it, lose it,” says Rachel Rosenthal, a professional organiser.</p> <p><strong>Supplies to fight COVID-19</strong></p> <p>Got a supply of at-home rapid Covid test kits? Bonus points for being proactive! Don’t store them in your medicine cabinet, nor in your bathroom at all. The CDC recommends storing self-administered Covid tests in their unopened box in a cool, dry place. Improper storage or exposure to heat or moisture can make the test malfunction.</p> <p>Help prevent Covid-19 by stocking up on alcohol prep pads or a fresh bottle of rubbing alcohol and cotton pads. Then, keep the whole house healthier by using these regularly to clean high-touch surfaces like kitchen cabinet knobs, your microwave’s buttons, door knobs around the house, your phone and keyboard, keys and more.</p> <p><strong>Prioritise your shelves</strong></p> <p>Ready to sort out what goes where? Rosenthal says you should start by assigning each category its own shelf and try to keep all the items in that group together within that designated space. You may want to label each shelf with a piece of tape or a sticky note to help you and your family put things away properly going forward.</p> <p>Keep the items you use every day in easy reach on one of the lowermost shelves. If you’re not using an item at least once a week, move it to a longer-term storage space.</p> <p>Have kiddos? Rosenthal suggests: “If you have little ones, dedicate the bottom shelf to keep their items where they can easily reach them and grab what they need.”</p> <p><strong>Safety first</strong></p> <p>The medicine cabinet is a common place to put medications, sharp objects like razors and needles and toxic cleaners, so safety should be a top consideration in your organisation, says Dr Khoury. If you have children that use the medicine cabinet, this is the perfect time to take inventory and remove all unsafe items and put them well out of their reach. (Don’t forget: Kids will climb onto benchtops!)</p> <p>Put sharp objects in closed containers so you don’t accidentally hurt yourself. Toxic cleaners should be stored in tightly sealed unbreakable containers, so even if they fall, they won’t break open and spill.</p> <p><strong>Move your meds to a smarter spot</strong></p> <p>Oh, the irony: Turns out, the medicine cabinet is actually one of the worst places to store prescription and over-the-counter drugs, says Gina Harper, PharmD, BCPS. “Moisture, temperature, oxygen and light – all things found in bathrooms – can degrade medications faster than normal,” this pharmacist explains.</p> <p>Unless the packaging indicates otherwise, most medicine should be stored at cool room temperature, in a dry, dark place, and in the original package… so, not in your bathroom. This is true for many skin care products, vitamins and supplements as well.</p> <p>Note: If you really want to keep your meds in your bathroom, consider buying a small medicine fridge for your counter. This allows you to control the temperature, humidity and exposure to light and air.</p> <p><strong>Do not toss expired prescription drugs</strong></p> <p>Throwing prescribed medications in the garbage can help someone searching for narcotics get their hands on them. Flushing them down the toilet? Also not a wise option – this can pollute the water supply. Your best bet is to take them to your local community pharmacy participating in the Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) scheme.</p> <p>If for any reason you have to throw medicine away, it’s suggested you should “ruin” the drugs by mixing them with coffee grounds or kitty litter in a sealed plastic bag.</p> <p><strong>Store big items first</strong></p> <p>Ideally, your cabinet has adjustable shelves to allow your tallest or bulkiest essentials to fit within easy reach, like toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, or large ointment bottles. Then you can see just how much space you have to work with for the rest of your stuff.</p> <p>If something takes up too much room and it’s not an item you access daily, it might be better stored in a cupboard elsewhere.</p> <p><strong>Next, insert your lesser-used items</strong></p> <p>Prioritise by setting the things you use the most toward the front of your medicine cabinet, on the shelves that are the easiest to see and access, says Rosenthal.</p> <p>Place lesser-used items in the back or corners. If you’re not using an item at least once a week, move it to a longer-term storage space, like a cupboard or a box under your sink.</p> <p>Employ this system for the remainder of your items, discerning how prominently and accessibly each one should be placed based on how often you use it. Rosenthal says just remember: Your goal is to keep it safe, clean, and functional.</p> <p><strong>Don't lose loose items</strong></p> <p><span>Stray cotton buds or lip balm tubes adding to the clutter? Put them in a clear glass container. They’ll fit the vertical space better, and you’ll be able to see exactly what’s inside.</span></p> <p><strong>Try magnetic strips for metal trinkets</strong></p> <p><span>What do nail clippers, tweezers and hair clips have in common? They all stick to magnets! Put a magnetic strip on the back of the cabinet door or behind the shelves, and never think twice about where those small tools might be hiding.</span></p> <p><strong>Don't ignore the door</strong></p> <p><span>Your cabinet door is prime storage real estate that often goes untouched, but there are a number of ways you can customise it for your storage needs. Stick on hooks to hold small scissors or plastic pockets to hold makeup supplies, for example. There also are a number of DIY storage solutions that help you use hidden nooks around your shower, sink, and cabinets too.</span></p> <p><strong>Watch what rolls</strong></p> <p><span>Nothing sticks a landing squarely on the foot like a runaway rolling object the second the cabinet door opens. Invest in some mini shelves (also called vertical risers) to keep objects in place and maximise your storage space.</span></p> <p><strong>Label, label, label</strong></p> <p>Small bins are perfect for makeup and toiletries, but not all of them are see-through. Create your own colourful labels to stay organised in style. These easy tricks will also instantly organise other small areas of your home.</p> <p>One tip? Forget Instagram – make a real-life plan. “Getting organised does not mean that you have to invent a complex colour-coded system or invest in a million matching bins,” Rosenthal says. “The goal is to create a place for everything in a way that complements how your life operates.”</p> <p>For instance, if you normally toss your toothbrush in the bottom of the medicine cabinet, add a small open box there to keep it contained with the toothpaste and floss. You’re not going to magically transform your movements throughout the day – so plan for what you actually do, not what you wish you’d do (or what someone on social media claims to do), she says.</p> <p>Gotta love real talk.</p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Claire Nowak and Charlotte Hilton Anderson. This article first appeared in </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/instantly-organise-your-medicine-cabinet-in-a-few-simple-steps" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Home & Garden

Finance

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Confusion, financial pressure, discomfort: older people can struggle with sustainable living, despite its obvious benefits

<p>Improving the sustainability of Australia’s housing stock is <a href="https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&amp;rls=en&amp;q=building+sector+australia+emissions+the+conversation&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;oe=UTF-8">crucial</a> to meeting national emissions reduction goals. But for older adults, such changes can bring both benefits and challenges.</p> <p>My <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0360132321007344">recent research</a> examined the literature on environmental sustainability measures at residences for older adults. These included private homes, retirement villages and nursing homes.</p> <p>I found that while sustainability measures can bring multiple benefits to older people, they also bring challenges. For example, people living in sustainable dwellings may use less energy and water which leads to lower bills. But older people may suffer cognitive decline and struggle to use sustainable technology devices.</p> <p>The full effects of environmentally sustainable features must be better understood if we’re to provide seniors with high-quality residential environments.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441440/original/file-20220119-15-60lcsc.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Older man walks down corridor" /> <span class="caption">Sustainability measures can bring benefits and challenges to older people.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <h2>Sustainability and ageing: a complex mix</h2> <p>Forecasts suggest that by 2056, <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/population-groups/older-people/overview">22% of Australians</a> – or 8.7 million people – will be aged 65 or older. High-quality residential environments are important to maintaining the welfare of these people as they age.</p> <p>Environmental sustainability is playing an ever greater role in residential development across the board, including retirement villages. And <a href="https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jar/2014/919054/">previous research</a> suggests most retirement village residents want to lead more sustainable lifestyles.</p> <p>As climate change worsens, the dwellings of older adults should allow them to adapt to these changing conditions. The reduced ability of elderly people to regulate their body temperature means global warming is a profound threat to this group.</p> <p>Improving the sustainability of a residential environment may include:</p> <ul> <li>reducing waste</li> <li>using low carbon or recycled building materials</li> <li>solar passive design</li> <li>efficient heating and cooling</li> <li>using renewable energy such as rooftop solar.</li> </ul> <p><a href="https://new.gbca.org.au/case-studies/building/stockland-takes-sustainability-retirement-living/">Some residential projects</a> for the elderly already include environmental sustainability. A <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/F-08-2011-0060/full/html">case study</a> of a not-for-profit retirement village in South Australia revealed practices such as innovative floor plans, thermally efficient building materials, good window orientation and a water harvesting system.</p> <p>And my previous research <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652619341605">found</a> a range of sustainability features at eight private and not-for-profit retirement villages in Queensland.</p> <p>However, while many retirement village developers prioritise “social sustainability” features such as care provision and social interaction, environmental sustainability is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652617313963">largely ignored</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441450/original/file-20220119-25-1qtv5d.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="elderly woman holds hands of carer" /> <span class="caption">Forecasts suggest that by 2056, 22% of Australians will be aged 65 or older.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <h2>On the plus side</h2> <p>The benefits of environmentally sustainable features in in older adults’ residential environment include:</p> <p><strong>- reduced resource consumption:</strong> sustainable dwellings usually require less water and energy use, which lowers living costs. This is especially important for older adults who often have reduced financial capacity after retirement. Older people also use energy <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0301421597000402">more intensively</a> than other groups because they have fewer household members, greater heating requirements and spend more time at home.</p> <p><strong>- reduced health risks:</strong> environmentally sustainable measures can lead to healthier indoor environments. For example, good ventilation and high-quality air conditioning often lead to improved indoor air quality and more comfortable ambient temperatures.</p> <p><strong>- alleviated environmental challenges:</strong> many older people want their homes to be more environmentally friendly. Doing their bit to alleviate global problems such as greenhouse gas emissions can provide them with peace of mind.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441438/original/file-20220119-15-124namg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="elderly person's hands on heater" /> <span class="caption">Sustainable dwellings usually require less water and energy use,</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <h2>The potential downsides</h2> <p>The challenges of environmentally sustainable home features for older adults include:</p> <p><strong>- financial pressure:</strong> the income of many older adults is substantially reduced after retirement. This <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0301421511005222">can conflict</a> with the high initial investment of developing an sustainable housing and the cost of replacing existing systems with sustainable ones.</p> <p><strong>- reducing energy consumption:</strong> in some cases, sustainability measures can involve tolerating slightly higher or cooler temperatures. For example, moving from a gas-heating system to a more sustainable type may <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421515001172">delay</a> the arrival of heat in a room and leave older people uncomfortable for a short time. This may conflict with older people’s <a href="https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/enepol/v84y2015icp250-256.html">increased sensitivity</a> to ambient temperatures.</p> <p><strong>- confusion and complexity:</strong> Older adults can have <a href="https://academic.oup.com/bmb/article/92/1/135/332828">reduced cognitive capabilities</a> affecting memory and information processing speed. As a result they may struggle to use sustainable technologies such as smart thermostats. Research has <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0301421514006259">suggested</a> ways of overcoming this, such as better recognising the diversity of older adults to achieve a better “person-technology fit”.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/441437/original/file-20220119-25-fkfanl.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Four older women shelter from the sun under umbrella" /> <span class="caption">Older people may have increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Paul Miller/AAP</span></span></p> <h2>Next steps</h2> <p>Older adults have unique needs which their homes <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0360132321007344">must satisfy</a>, even when sustainability features are being adopted.</p> <p>Ageing should be seen as a dynamic process with physical, psychological and social dimensions. And the complex interrelationships of ageing, environmental sustainability and the residential environment also need to be recognised.</p> <p>Best practices and lessons learned in creating sustainable living environments for older adults should be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652618325241">shared</a>.</p> <p>Finally, developers making sustainability decisions should consult other stakeholders. These include contractors, occupational therapists, researchers and most importantly, older adults themselves.<!-- 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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/174535/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><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/xin-hu-685656">Xin Hu</a>, Lecturer, School of Architecture and Built Environment, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/confusion-financial-pressure-discomfort-older-people-can-struggle-with-sustainable-living-despite-its-obvious-benefits-174535">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Novak set to sue Australia for big bucks

<p dir="ltr">Following Novak Djokovic’s<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/djokovic-escorted-out-of-australia" target="_blank">deportation from Australia</a>, it seemed that his fight to stay in the country had come to an end.</p> <p dir="ltr">But the fight may be renewed as the tennis star<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/sport/tennis/novak-djokovic-reportedly-looking-to-sue-australian-government-over-visa-and-ill-treatment-c-5378332" target="_blank">contemplates</a><span> </span>suing the Australian government for $6 million over his failed attempt to reinstate his visa, according to a UK report.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 34-year-old was deported to Serbia after he entered the country while unvaccinated, with hopes he would be able to play in the Australian Open’s opening round on Monday.</p> <p dir="ltr">Djokovic now faces a potential three-year-ban if he does re-enter the country, and has been ordered to pay the federal government’s legal costs.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17377639/novak-djokovic-sue-australian-government-talks/" target="_blank"><em>UK Sun</em></a><span> </span>has reported that Djokovic may be considering legal action against the government for “ill-treatment”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The publication said the $6 million figure he may be suing for would include the Australian Open prize money he expected to earn if he had won.</p> <p dir="ltr">The potential development in the Djokovic saga comes as the reasons why a three-judge panel of the Federal Court unanimously ruled against reinstating the Serb’s visa are due to be published by Chief Justice James Allsop at 4.15 pm on Thursday afternoon.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the Federal Court’s decision on Sunday night, Djokovic said in a statement that he was extremely disappointed but respected the ruling.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said Djokovic’s presence in Australia was a public health risk, as it could excite anti-vaccination sentiment.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chief Justice Allsop also noted the international interest in Djokovic’s case, including in his home country of Serbia, before he delivered the ruling on Sunday evening.</p> <p dir="ltr">He explained that the decision focused on whether the government’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa initially was irrational or unlawful in any way, and that it was not an appeal against the government’s decision.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It is not part of the function of the court to decide upon the merits or wisdom of the decision,” Chief Justice Allsop said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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What a disaster: federal government slashes COVID payment when people need it most

<p>With Australia’s official COVID-19 infection numbers topping <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/world/australia-covid-cases.html">100,000 a day</a>, the federal government has slashed its last remaining pandemic support payment.</p> <p>The decision is ill-timed, irresponsible and heartless. It is stripping away support for those most affected by the pandemic at the time they need it most. It will place those in low paid and precarious work in further financial stress as they lose income to isolate when infected or in close contact with someone else with COVID-19.</p> <p>The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment was introduced in August 2020 in response to concerns casual workers and others without sick or pandemic leave entitlements could not take time off work when infected or in contact with someone with COVID-19.</p> <p>The leave payment was initially available to those not qualifying for JobKeeper – or, after JobKeeper ended in March 2021, the “disaster payment” introduced in response to <a href="https://theconversation.com/support-package-for-sydney-better-and-more-fit-for-purpose-than-jobkeeper-164394">the Sydney lockdown</a> in July 2021. Since that payment ended the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is the only individual financial support the federal government provides.</p> <p>Available to people who had contracted COVID, were a close contact or needed to care for someone who had COVID, until this week it paid A$750 a week for two weeks. You could claim the payment regardless of the number of hours of paid work you lost.</p> <p>On January 18 the rules tightened – a move announced via a <a href="https://ministers.pmc.gov.au/mckenzie/2022/changes-pandemic-leave-disaster-payment">press release </a> on January 8 (a Saturday).</p> <p>Now it only pays $750 if you lose 20 hours or more of paid work a week. If you lose 8-19 hours you get just $450 a week. If you lose less than eight hours you get nothing.</p> <p>Getting the payment has also been made more difficult by imposing a 14-day time limit to apply, from the start of the isolation period. To qualify, you must show evidence of a positive PCR or rapid antigen test. Considering the difficulty of obtaining RATs, and delays in PCR test results <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/victoria/test-samples-no-longer-suitable-after-seven-day-wait-20220108-p59ms1.html">of a week or more</a>, this is a unreasonable and unnecessary constraint.</p> <h2>Flawed eligibility rules</h2> <p>A major flaw in the eligibility rules for the leave payment it is not available to people receiving social security payments. This excludes all JobSeeker recipients, despite about <a href="https://data.gov.au/data/dataset/dss-payment-demographic-data/resource/80cc89a3-3208-4e0d-9745-598f7a882e28">one in four</a> being in some form of paid work – generally low-paid casual jobs.</p> <p>The leave payment has been a vital part of the economic supports to help people stay safe and protect their loved ones and the community.</p> <p>The peak body for the community services sector, the Australian Council of Social Service, has <a href="https://www.acoss.org.au/media-releases/?media_release=another-income-hit-for-casual-workers-massive-cut-to-pandemic-leave-disaster-payment">condemned this decision</a>. It says cutting the payment will leave people without enough to cover basic costs, let alone the extra costs of isolation such as delivery fees, rapid tests (if you can get them) and personal protective equipment.</p> <h2>Worst time possible</h2> <p>There could scarcely be a worse time to cut this payment, with Australia now in the worst stage of the pandemic.</p> <p>Between August 5 2020 and July 8 2021 the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment provided <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp2122/Quick_Guides/COVID-19DisasterPayments">almost 15,000 grants</a> to support those in need. During this period the peak COVID case rate was just over 500 day, in August 2020. Consider, therefore, the likely need now we’re at more than <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/world/australia-covid-cases.html">100,000 a day</a>.</p> <p>With no other form of federal income support available you may apply for an unemployment or sickness payment like JobSeeker. But Services Australia advises this will be paid about <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/when-youll-get-your-first-jobseeker-payment?context=51411">two weeks after</a> a claim is granted. That is of little help to cover rent while you’re isolating with COVID. JobSeeker is also a maximum of $315 a week – inadequate to cover basic costs.</p> <p>This cut will affect many of the same people <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/pm-announces-national-day-of-thanks-for-pandemic-heroes/news-story/174c8ccb94814aaa554d79eea0193e4f">lauded as the heroes of pandemic</a> – essential workers employed casually in health and aged care, supermarkets, hospitality venues and warehouses. It will also hurt temporary visa holders, who are entitled to the leave payment and do not qualify for any other federal income support.</p> <p>Last week <a href="https://www.acoss.org.au/media-releases/?media_release=community-sector-calls-for-collaboration-and-decisive-leadership-from-national-cabinet-to-deal-with-covid-debacle">ACOSS called for</a> the establishment of a civil society COVID Rapid Response Group to work alongside National Cabinet. We need the interests of people most at risk in the room at the highest levels when decisions like the future of the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment are made.</p> <p>Cutting this payment now is effectively telling low-paid workers at the worst stage of the pandemic in Australia that they’re on their own.<!-- 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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/175146/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><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cassandra-goldie-94635">Cassandra Goldie</a>, Adjunct Professor and UNSW Law Advisory Council Member, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-1414">UNSW</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-a-disaster-federal-government-slashes-covid-payment-when-people-need-it-most-175146">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Mick Tsikas/AAP</em></p>

Retirement Income

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How much is too much for aged care?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A nationwide survey has found that over 60 percent of taxpayers would be willing to pay more tax in return for quality aged care.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The survey, commissioned by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, was conducted by Professor of Health Economics Julie Ratcliffe and her colleagues at Flinders University’s Caring Futures Institute.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Ratcliffe and her colleagues published their findings in the </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.5694/mja2.51242" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Medical Journal of Australia</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in September 2021, after designing the survey to determine Australians’ willingness to pay more for better aged care.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“At present, four percent of Australia’s income tax contributions are allocated to aged care,” the researchers </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.scimex.org/newsfeed/how-much-are-australians-willing-to-pay-for-quality-aged-care" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">wrote</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Modelling by the Commission indicates that a doubling of this expenditure base may be required in the short to medium term to meet the needs of Australia’s rising numbers of old people.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The team surveyed 6500 current income taxpayers who are not receiving aged care.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We found that 61 percent of current income taxpayers would be willing to pay an additional 1.4 percent income tax per year on average to ensure a satisfactory level of aged care, while income taxpayers would be willing to pay an additional 3 percent income tax per year to achieve high quality aged care,” they said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Interestingly, the researchers found that respondents who had an aged care experience through close family members were willing to pay more to ensure “universal access to satisfactory or high quality care”, while those who hadn’t were less willing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Similarly, younger people were also willing to pay slightly more than older people to ensure universal access to satisfactory or high quality care,” the team wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Professor Ratcliffe and her colleagues said increasing income tax contributions wouldn’t be enough to bolster the aged care system as the number of older Australians continues to grow.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The survey comes as the ratio of working age Australlians to those aged over 85 continues to decline, from a 101:1 ratio in 1978 to 33:1 in 2018.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By 2058, it is expected that there will only be 15 working Australians for every person aged 85 or older.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To combat this, the team suggest a combination of contributions from income tax, “means-tested personal co-contributions and voluntary self-funded contributions for extra services or supports”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Elsewhere, in countries such as Japan and Germany, similar schemes are used to pay for aged care, including compulsory social insurance, taxing superannuation earnings over a certain threshold, and private insurance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“As a society, we need to take collective responsibility, building upon the foundations laid by our Australia-wide survey to carefully consider all options for ensuring the quality, safety and sustainability of Australia’s aged care system for all Australians in need, now and into the future,” the researchers concluded.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Money & Banking

Entertainment

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63.5% of Australia’s performing artists reported worsening mental health during COVID

<p>92% of performing artists experienced significant changes to their work during early stages of the pandemic – and at least half experienced depression.</p> <p>These shocking figures comes from <a href="https://www.waapa.ecu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/960387/Breathing-through-the-pandemic.pdf">new research</a> talking to hundreds of performing artists from across Australia.</p> <p>The impact of COVID-19 was particularly devastating for performing artists because their artistic practice is highly ingrained in their identity.</p> <p>The disruption to performances during lockdown led performers to re-evaluate their artistic practice, whether through having a break or reassessing their career paths.</p> <p>Artists described cancellation of tours, gigs, and contracts which often happened overnight and without warning. Participants spoke of losing “27 gigs in three days” in March 2020, having a year’s worth of touring work cancelled, and not being able to find any new gigs.</p> <p>In our national survey of 431 performing artists, 63.5% of the participants reported feeling their mental health worsened during the pandemic.</p> <h2>Mental health stressors</h2> <p>COVID-19 exacerbated social, economic and mental health problems <a href="https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2016-10/apo-nid121961.pdf">long-recognised</a> throughout the performing arts sector. In an industry that was already under the spotlight for stress and mental health, COVID-19 brought with it another test to the resilience of the industry.</p> <p>In our research, we used the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16004657/">short form Depression Anxiety Stress Scales 21</a> (DASS-21), a self-reported survey which measures levels of distress, and found scores on all three subscales were elevated compared to <a href="https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.499926749273237">previous findings</a> among performing artists in 2015.</p> <p>49% of participants demonstrated moderate, severe or extremely severe levels of depression; 61% demonstrated moderate, severe or extremely severe levels of anxiety; and 47% demonstrated moderate, severe or extremely severe levels of stress.</p> <p>In line with these findings, almost half (47.9% of respondants) accessed mental health supports, such as psychologists and GPs.</p> <p>The participants most affected by poor mental health were early career artists, freelancers and women.</p> <p>Women not only faced the difficulties of COVID and related lockdowns, but also <a href="https://theconversation.com/planning-stress-and-worry-put-the-mental-load-on-mothers-will-2022-be-the-year-they-share-the-burden-172599">disproportionately</a> faced the challenge of increased care responsibilities for elderly parents and children, and the distractions of working from home during lockdown.</p> <p>Freelance artists often found themselves <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-government-says-artists-should-be-able-to-access-jobkeeper-payments-its-not-that-simple-138530">excluded from government support such as JobKeeper</a>.</p> <p>Early career artists questioned their future in the arts: their performing opportunities suddenly disappeared during lockdown, and they lost opportunities to gain new networks and build there careers. As one participant told us, “a whole year [was] just ripped away, that’s a year I’ll never get back, to add to my portfolio, to my connections and networks."</p> <h2>Ongoing stress</h2> <p>Difficulties weren’t just faced by individual artists. The immediate impact for performing arts organisations was a complete shock to the system.</p> <p>Workload stress for managers increased with their efforts to maintain operations and recoup lost income.</p> <p>Many artistic organisations are only now beginning to feel the true burden of COVID-19 and will continue to feel these impacts throughout the medium term.</p> <p>As the pandemic went on through 2020 and 2021, some organisations saw two seasons’ worth of programming delayed. 2022 and beyond will see these organisations trying to play catch up, causing additional logistical work – and as Omicron is proving, there will be with further disruptions and shutdowns in the sector.</p> <p>While almost half of the participants accessed mental health support during COVID-19, several barriers to seeking help were identified, such as financial constraints and a lack of available and appropriate mental health support which understood the particular stressors of working in the performing arts.</p> <h2>Community and resilience</h2> <p>Even as they were facing stress, our research found organisations acted as beacons of support for the wider performing arts community, honouring artist and employee contracts as much as possible.</p> <p>In turn, arts workers reported support from audiences, donors and direct support from government was instrumental in maintaining morale and purpose for organisations.</p> <p>The adaptability and resilience evidenced within the performing arts industry during COVID-19 should not be underestimated. Artists continued to create work throughout the pandemic, and even found positive outcomes from this challenging time.</p> <p>Participants reported being able to rest and reset.</p> <p>"Time for people to take a break is important, mental health is important, hard conversations are important. But we had the time to have them, instead of 'we can’t have that conversation because the show’s going on in two weeks and we’ve got to rehearse the scene.' It’s like, well, let’s stop and let’s talk about this. It was really beneficial for a lot of works that I was involved in."</p> <p>For many artists, it will be a long recovery for their careers and their health. Now is the time to consider how the industry can build back stronger post-COVID: increased arts funding, low-cost or free mental health services tailored to performing artists, and encouraging everyone to experience – and support – the amazing art being made in our own backyards.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/63-5-of-australias-performing-artists-reported-worsening-mental-health-during-covid-174610">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Art

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How to organise your digital clutter

<p><strong>Getting your digital clutter under control </strong></p> <p><span>The days of bursting file cabinets and desks buried under paper may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean our 21st-century lives are any more organised. With wireless technology integrated into our daily routines, many of us have simply traded paper clutter for digital disarray. </span></p> <p><span>You might take it for granted, but it’s there: Your overflowing inbox, that mess of files on your desktop screen, and those alerts that your phone’s storage is at capacity. </span></p> <p><span>The shift from working in the office to remotely from home during the pandemic has blurred the division of personal and business files even further, making organisation that much more of a challenge. </span></p> <p><span>“When one of the digital areas of our life is getting full, it can feel overwhelming,” says productivity coach Clare Kumar. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting that digital clutter under control.</span></p> <p><strong>Set aside time for a digital clean-up</strong></p> <p>Don’t expect to clean up your digital clutter at the end of a workday when you’re already feeling fatigued. It’s best to schedule this task for a day that you’ll have the time and energy to complete it, just as you might set aside a day for spring-cleaning your house.</p> <p>“As with any organising project, it takes some mental energy, strategic thinking and planning,” says Kumar. It’s also important to tune into how satisfied you feel after doing a bit organising – that will motivate you to keep going.</p> <p>If you find that a periodic mass clean-up of your devices is way too overwhelming, figure out what frequency works for you. Like putting your clothes away at the end of the day, it might feel easier to delete unwanted photos right after you take them.</p> <p>Expert tip: Think about organising your digital clutter from a legacy point of view. Your next of kin needs to be aware of what you own – passwords, finances, legal documents – and where these files are located in case of an emergency.</p> <p><strong>Establish priorities for what you want to keep - or delete </strong></p> <p>According to Kumar, the first thing to do when you’re setting out to organise all your files, whether they’re online banking statements or videos from your last holiday, is to think about what’s important to you.</p> <p>In the same way that you would sort through physical clutter in a room – think junk drawers, old magazines, day-old dishes – imagine it’s your spam emails and outdated documents that are taking up precious space in your digital environment.</p> <p>“You do want to be intentional about this because it’s quite abstract,” she says. The key questions to ask yourself are: What files do you want to keep and how do you want to use them?</p> <p>For example, if your passion is photography, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough room on your devices to store photos, and an organisational strategy to find them again.</p> <p>Expert tip: Start by dividing all the files across your devices that you want to organise into broad categories like photos, work and taxes.</p> <p><strong>Choose the right storage option</strong></p> <p>Chances are, you’ve received a warning from at least one of your smart devices that you’re dangerously close to reaching your storage limit. Luckily, there are a number of different digital storage options you can tap to transfer those files from your device.</p> <p>These options can be divided into two broad categories: physical storage devices (like USB flash drives or external hard drives) that plug into your device, and cloud-based storage (like Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive) that are accessed online and store your files on a remote server. When might you choose one over the other?</p> <p>Well, it depends on what types of files you’re storing, how large they are and how you want to access them in the future. For example, if you’re storing digital photo files you’d like to share with family members, a cloud-based storage would be better because it allows multiple users shared access to the same documents.</p> <p>While it might be tempting to save all your files into a single location, Kumar notes that there’s nothing wrong with using several options – provided they make not only storage but also retrieval as effortless as possible.</p> <p>“My iPhone is backed up to iCloud because that’s natural in that environment, and I use Google Drive because my Gmail’s backed up within that,” she says.</p> <p>Expert tip: Don’t forget to factor in legal requirements for work-related files that might need to be held in more secure storage.</p> <p><strong>Create an organising system that makes sense to you</strong></p> <p>It’s certainly easier in the moment to leave digital files with their automatically-generated file names, but being more deliberate with your labelling pays off in the long run. If you’re looking for a cherished family photo from a few holidays back, you’ll have an easier time finding it under the file name “family-holiday-fiji-july-2019.jpg” versus “10077892.jpg.”</p> <p>“The sole purpose of organisation is to help you find it later,” says Kumar. “You’re paying yourself forward whenever you create a file name that is going to be easy to find.”</p> <p>There are two aspects to this – how you find things and the way that you name things. File hierarchies can become complex and maze-like the more levels you add, so it’s best to keep things as simple as possible. For example, nesting your photo in the folders “Photos  – &gt; 2021  – &gt; March” will make them a breeze to track down later.</p> <p>If you’re a more visual person, apply that to your organising strategy. Love downloading apps on your phone but not how they clutter the home screen? Group them together by colour.</p> <p>“Put only as much structure as you need, and not more,” advises Kumar. The same rule applies to naming files – make it as easy as possible for your brain.</p> <p>Expert tip: When naming files, start with the date and then topic like “yyyy-mm-dd-taxes.” That will allow you to sort files chronologically so you can always see the oldest or the most recent.</p> <p><strong>Take advantage of organising apps</strong></p> <p>There are plenty of different apps on the market that are designed to help with digital decluttering. For those who want to get their inbox and email subscriptions under control, Kumar recommends Unroll.Me for your smartphone.</p> <p>The tool allows you to easily unsubscribe from unwanted emails or combine your favourite subscriptions into a single email. If you find yourself keeping multiple tabs open day after day, the browser extension OneTab consolidates them into a single list to save your device’s memory (and your time).</p> <p>To scrub your social media accounts of old – and possibly embarrassing – posts, you can often delete or archive within the app.</p> <p>Expert tip: If you’ve hit an all-time high number of emails in your inbox, it might be time for a clean sweep. “I highly recommend saving emails that really matter from a sentimental or a business documentation point of view, and then you can do mass delete by time,” says Kumar.</p> <p><strong>Schedule regular decluttering in your routine</strong></p> <p>Kumar recommends checking in on all your devices and files on a quarterly basis. At the minimum, do a yearly audit of the storage you’re using. You could be missing out on a new app that’s more efficient or realise that your storage solution is outdated (or even full).</p> <p>If you still have some old documents on outdated technology like floppy disks, it might be time to think about transferring them to a more reliable supported location before they’re permanently lost. You can still copy data over to a modern computer using an external or internal floppy drive, but technology may have evolved to a point where certain old file formats can no longer be read.</p> <p>“There’s a window when the services are fairly affordable to convert those things and it’s worthwhile jumping on before it becomes a really exclusive and expensive service,” says Kumar.</p> <p>Expert tip: Kumar recommends reading <em>The Organised Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload </em>by Daniel J. Levitin for a neuroscientist’s take on how to navigate all the data we consume.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/how-to-organise-your-digital-clutter">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

Technology

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Artist demands her work be removed from 10 Downing Street

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">British artist Tracey Emin has formally requested for her 2010 artwork to be removed from 10 Downing Street: the official residence of the UK Prime Minister. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The artist took to Instagram to share the request with her followers, posting a picture of the neon sign art that reads </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">More Passion</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I am now in the process of requesting that my artwork be removed from 10 Downing Street,” wrote Emin in her post. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I feel </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">More Passion</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is the last thing this present government needs. This current situation is shameful.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Her request comes as recent revelations of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s flouting of the Covid-19 restrictions in May 2020, as he reportedly held a garden party at the residence when the country was in lockdown. </span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY6af0ooksi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CY6af0ooksi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Tracey Emin CBE RA (@traceyeminstudio)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite overwhelming backlash, Boris Johnson maintains that the gathering was a work event instead of a party, and has apologised for his attendance. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In an interview with the </span><a href="https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2022/01/20/tracey-emin-demands-her-work-be-removed-from-10-downing-street-after-boris-johnsons-shameful-lying-over-lockdown-party"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Art Newspaper</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Tracey Emin said she finds the hypocrisy of the situation completely baffling. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think lying to people is shameful,” she said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“People have suffered so much through Covid. They’ve looked to the government for advice, and it turns out that the government has been telling us to do one thing and not doing it themselves.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tracey originally donated the work to the Government Art Collection in 2010 when then Prime Minister David Cameron commissioned the work from her. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tracey clarified that she would like the artwork to remain in the government collection, but for it to be relocated from the residence. </span></p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram @traceyeminstudio</em></p>

Art

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What made Bob Saget’s Danny Tanner so different from other sitcom dads

<p>Bob Saget, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/09/arts/television/bob-saget-dead.html">who died on Jan. 9, 2022</a>, is probably best remembered for his role as Danny Tanner on the popular sitcom “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092359/">Full House</a>,” which aired from 1987 to 1995.</p> <p>I think fans of the show have such fond memories of this character because Danny exemplified what it meant to “be there” as a parent. A single dad whose wife had passed away, he was eager to lend an ear to daughters D.J., Stephanie and Michelle, offering them support and reassurance through the twists and turns of childhood and adolescence.</p> <p>Why heap so much praise on a sitcom dad? It’s easy to disregard TV as mere mindless entertainment. But entertainment media can both reflect and reshape culture – including how fathers interact with their children. <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/1990-25264-001">They can influence how viewers think about fathers</a>, regardless of the accuracy of those portrayals.</p> <p><a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=GzIcrG8AAAAJ&amp;hl=en">As someone who studies stereotypes of fathers</a>, I view Danny as an avatar of the changing expectations of fatherhood that began in the late 1970s.</p> <h2>Danny Tanner and ‘being there’</h2> <p>Danny Tanner was a 30-something widower when Full House premiered. That wasn’t a common situation for his demographic – <a href="https://www.census.gov/prod/1/pop/p20-365.pdf">less than 1% in his bracket shared it</a> – and it allowed viewers to watch Danny parent his three daughters with the help of his brother-in-law and his best friend.</p> <p>Nonetheless, in nearly every episode, viewers saw Danny “being there” for his family. “Being there” is a concept that describes <a href="https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=_gEDfhZp5s0C&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PR1&amp;dq=promises+i+can+keep&amp;ots=8ac2OWdjLK&amp;sig=mnXZdjICi5BLnhGI-Np8UrcfGlc#v=onepage&amp;q=promises%20i%20can%20keep&amp;f=false">being physically and emotionally involved with your children</a>. This term took <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12376">on particular significance for fathers in the late 20th century</a>. “Being there” allowed dads to be seen as more than just financial providers and recognized that fathers interact with their children in varied and important ways.</p> <p>In the earlier part of the century, fathers were assumed to be breadwinners and not much else, a stereotype reflected in the era’s popular media. For example, sitcom fathers on “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046600/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Father Knows Best</a>,” which aired from 1954 to 1960, and “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051267/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_3">The Donna Reed Show</a>,” which ended its run in 1966, bore little responsibility for actual child care beyond a pat on the head and some occasional discipline.</p> <p>Beginning in the 1970s, psychologist Michael Lamb encouraged a change in how we thought about fathers and broadened the definition of what he called “<a href="https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/271493">father involvement</a>.”</p> <p>Lamb proposed three dimensions of father involvement: engagement, availability and responsibility. The last of these, responsibility – which involved financial support and parental guidance – could be spotted in some form in the preceding sitcoms. But engagement and availability, which tend to involve day-to-day emotional support, were almost entirely foreign.</p> <p>Danny Tanner’s approach to fatherhood, by contrast, demonstrated perhaps the fullest realization of these changing expectations.</p> <p>One episode, “Back to School Blues,” featured oldest daughter D.J. starting junior high. Spoiler alert: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnIQu35CCDc">It doesn’t go well</a>. She’s teased by older girls, wears the same outfit as one of the teachers, and spends lunch alone. (I was a year younger than D.J., and this episode made me nervous about my own entry into junior high.)</p> <p>When Danny doesn’t approve of D.J.‘s attempts to look older to fit in and make friends, she storms off to her room saying she wants to be left alone. Danny says he can’t do that, and then listens as she explains everything that went wrong at school.</p> <p>In this short scene, he reinforced family rules and provided emotional support, while showing that he would “be there” for D.J. whenever she needed.</p> <h2>A different kind of dad</h2> <p>Though Danny represented a departure from the typical sitcom father, he didn’t exactly spearhead a new trend.</p> <p>Immature and irresponsible fathers – the kind seen in popular shows like “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096697/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">The Simpsons</a>,” “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101120/">Home Improvement</a>” and “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092400/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Married … With Children</a>” – were more commonplace. To this day, <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-are-sitcom-dads-still-so-inept-139737">the stereotype of the bumbling dad persists on TV</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wKf7i3DZi-c?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <span class="caption">Danny comforts D.J. after she admits she isn’t happy with her body.</span></p> <p><a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/2015-25403-001">In my research</a>, I found that single sitcom dads with full child care responsibilities were shown interacting with their children more often than married sitcom dads. Compared to their married counterparts on the tube, they were more likely to offer kindness, care, love, support and guidance. Along with Danny, these characters included Mr. Drummond on “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077003/">Diff’rent Strokes</a>,” Tony Micelli in “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086827/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Who’s the Boss?</a>” and Maxwell Sheffield on “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106080/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">The Nanny</a>.”</p> <p>On the other hand, married sitcom father-child interactions were more likely to involve criticism and sarcastic humor. In fact, married sitcom fathers often made jokes at their children’s expense.</p> <p>Why does this discrepancy exist?</p> <p><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2007.00473.x?casa_token=L_W94GXie6kAAAAA:hB5-n-UFrNCGS2C2vVjT1oBL8bdvSocrrzk99GlyY_oy_kOP6jzVByhxeyrDmKaLXMUmLOgMJ26YnVpC">My research has found</a> that in real life, married fathers are thought to be loving and kind but with room for improvement as parents. They’re seen as the right-hand man to mothers, who have taken the lead in parenting. Because of this, people expect more bumbling and less skill.</p> <p>Single dads, however, tend to be viewed as selfless and dedicated, because the assumption is that they’ve put their children above all else.</p> <p>Danny Tanner isn’t the novelty today that he was in the early 1990s. But if his character is instructive in any way, it’s that dads shouldn’t have to lose their wives to be the best parent they can be.<!-- 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><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-troilo-752757">Jessica Troilo</a>, Associate Professor of Child Development and Family Studies, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/west-virginia-university-1375">West Virginia University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-made-bob-sagets-danny-tanner-so-different-from-other-sitcom-dads-174754">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/promotional-portrait-of-the-cast-of-the-television-series-news-photo/3126220?adppopup=true" class="source">Lorimar Television/Fotos International via Getty Images</a></span></em></p>

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Property

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Family conned out of $1.1 million in house sale

<p><em>Image: 9News</em></p> <p>A family from Sydney’s Northern Beaches are pleading with Australians to be aware of the kind of scam they fell victim to – with more than a million dollars at risk.</p> <p>The family have come close to losing their life savings and dream house in a sophisticated dupe. Cassie and Dennis Aviles transferred over $1.1 million to a person they fully believed was their solicitor in order to finalise the purchase of a new house.</p> <p>"It's basically everything," Ms Aviles said.</p> <p>"I've gone to the branch and transferred all of our money [into what] they are now telling us is in some kind of scam account and they're not sure if they're going to be able to retrieve it for us," she said.</p> <p>The couple, who have three young children, had sold their Beacon Hill property and were due to complete settlement on the new house.</p> <p>That's when they received what appeared to be a legitimate email from their solicitor, instructing them to transfer the huge sum of money.</p> <p>"[The email had] his name, his business name and all of the contracts we've signed for the new property were all attached," a distraught Ms Aviles told 9News.</p> <p>Ms Aviles alerted her solicitor that she'd paid the money into what she thought was the firm's Commonwealth Bank account.</p> <p>"He yelled into the phone, "Call the bank straight away!'."</p> <p>The Aviles' solicitor is just as baffled as the couple as to how the scammer obtained these details. "I've never even heard of anything like that," he said.</p> <p>"It's such a big amount, the bank should have more procedures in place."</p> <p>The story has a pretty satisfying ending though, as both banks involved have since been contacted and the funds frozen. The money is set to be returned to the Aviles family in the coming days.</p>

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“Totally shocked” woman refused home loan due to maternity leave plans

<p dir="ltr">A New Zealand woman<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/new-lending-rules-mum-shocked-by-90-day-maternity-leave-mortgage-condition/R3N4QF37MLMV44LUOPGV2VC6JA/" target="_blank">has been told</a><span> </span>by ANZ that she would only be considered for a mortgage if she returned to work within 90 days of giving birth.</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman is one of several people who spoke to the<span> </span><em>Otago Daily Times</em><span> </span>following the introduction of changes to New Zealand’s Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA).</p> <p dir="ltr">Changes to the act were intended to protect borrowers from loan sharks, but have prompted banks to vet mortgage applicants’ spending habits and personal finances more closely instead.</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman, who the publication agreed not to name, said she felt “totally shocked and completely discriminated against” by ANZ, after she was informed through her mortgage broker that the bank had changed its policy on maternity leave for borrowers.</p> <p dir="ltr">An ANZ spokeswoman acknowledged that the bank was enforcing stricter rules for customers taking more than 90 days of maternity leave as a result of changes to the CCCFA.</p> <p dir="ltr">She said there had been no change to the bank’s policy.</p> <p dir="ltr">However the woman, who was in the later stages of pregnancy when she and her partner attempted to refinance their home, found that her plans for maternity leave affected their chances of securing their loan.</p> <p dir="ltr">After a family member who had helped the couple finance their home to start with passed away, the couple were looking to get a mortgage through a bank with the help of a mortgage broker.</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman planned to take 12 months off of work from early December, including nine months of paid leave - three by her employer and six by the government’s paid parental leave scheme.</p> <p dir="ltr">She said she wanted to take a full year of leave after taking just seven months off following the birth of her last child, giving her more time to spend with the newborn.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s a really special time and I wanted to be there for it,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">When they applied for a mortgage through ANZ, they received a series of questions about their financial situation, as well as questions about her plans to return to work.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though she expected questions about their finances, “which I totally understood”, the woman said asking about her plans after her maternity leave was “deeply personal”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The decisions I choose to make after that time should be mine and not dependent on the bank,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">On January 7, the mortgage broker forwarded an email from ANZ saying the bank had changed its maternity leave policy - now refusing to give mortgages to customers who took more than three months off work.</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman said she believed the couple could still afford the mortgage whether she was working or not.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I mean, we knew we could afford it - and if we didn’t, we wouldn’t have applied,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though she was confident she would return to work, she didn’t believe the bank had the right to tell new mothers when they go back.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s completely discriminatory and just not needed,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple, who now have a three-week-old baby, are now looking to other banks for a loan.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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Affordable housing lessons from Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore: 3 keys to getting the policy mix right

<p>Affordable housing is a critical problem for Australia’s biggest housing markets. Five Australian cities are in the top 25 with “severely unaffordable” housing in a <a href="http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf">2019 Demographia survey</a> of 91 major metropolitan markets. Sydney was <a href="https://www.mortgagebusiness.com.au/breaking-news/13059-australia-s-housing-market-remains-severely-unaffordable">ranked the third least affordable</a> of the 91.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.realestate.com.au/news/meet-australias-oldest-person-to-buy-their-first-home-this-spring/">average age of first-time buyers in Sydney has reached 38</a>. And, <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/how-much-of-our-wages-do-we-spend-on-rent-in-australia">on average, tenants spend more than 30% of their income on rent</a>. Those who entered the <a href="https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/housing/help/applying-assistance/expected-waiting-times">Sydney market 10-15 years ago are more likely to find their housing affordable</a>.</p> <p>Cities with housing affordability issues have introduced various policy packages in response. This article compares the policies of Singapore, where housing is relatively affordable, Hong Kong (the <a href="http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf">world’s least affordable private housing market</a>) and Sydney. Our review shows a need for coherent and coordinated housing policies – a synergistic approach that multiplies the impacts of individual policies.</p> <p>Housing has direct impacts on people’s well-being. A housing market that works well may also enhance the economic productivity of a city. If not handled properly, housing affordability issues may trigger economic and political crises.</p> <p>Our review covers several aspects.</p> <h2>A balance of renters and owners</h2> <p>First, an affordable housing system needs to be about both the rental and ownership sectors.</p> <p>In Singapore, <a href="https://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/about-us">public housing provided by the Housing and Development Board</a> makes up 73% of Singapore’s total housing stock, which includes public rental and subsidised ownership. HDB flats house over 80% of Singapore’s resident population, with about 90% owning their homes. The average waiting time to get public housing is three to four years.</p> <p>Public housing is also important, although to a lesser extent, in Hong Kong. In this city, <a href="https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/society/article/2182106/why-public-housing-shortfall-will-remain-thorn-hong-kongs#targetText=Public%20rental%20housing%20estates%20found,cent%20of%20Hong%20Kong's%20population.">44.7% of the population live in public housing</a>. The <a href="https://www.housingauthority.gov.hk/tc/about-us/publications-and-statistics/prh-applications-average-waiting-time/index.html">average waiting time is three to five years</a>, depending on household type.</p> <p>In both cities, subsidised rental and subsidised ownership are an integral part of the public housing system, which aims to improve housing affordability.</p> <p>Sydney takes a very different approach. <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/hou/296/housing-assistance-in-australia-2018/contents/social-housing-dwellings">Social rental housing provides only 5.56% of housing</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/focus-on-managing-social-housing-waiting-lists-is-failing-low-income-households-120675">covers only low-income households in “priority need”</a>. The average waiting time to get into social housing is <a href="https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/housing/help/applying-assistance/expected-waiting-times.">five to ten years</a>.</p> <p>Although there are other policy measures to support home buying and rental (such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme), these are not integrated with the public housing system in Sydney. Rather, the goal of these policies is to support the private housing market.</p> <h2>It’s not just about housing supply</h2> <p>Second, housing affordability needs to be backed up by demand-side policies – i.e. policies to help tenants and owners to develop financial capacity.</p> <p>Despite its heavy state intervention, Singapore’s public housing stresses the responsibility of individuals. The <a href="https://www.cpf.gov.sg/Members/AboutUs/about-us-info/cpf-overview">Housing Provident Fund</a> is a <a href="https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2019/03/15/singapores-mechanism-design-approach-to-housing-policy/">form of forced savings</a> for housing, retirement, health and education, among other things. It is <a href="https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/84e6/28299b345dcba34d328112424990cf1cabc2.pdf">integrated with the pension system to enhance the efficiency of savings</a>.</p> <p>Forced savings are not available in Hong Kong and Sydney for housing purposes. Since 2017 <a href="https://theconversation.com/budget-needs-a-sharper-policy-scalpel-to-help-first-home-buyers-76791">first home buyers in Australia have been able to draw on their voluntary superannuation contributions</a> for a deposit.</p> <h2>Work-life balance matters</h2> <p>Third, action on housing affordability needs to take employment and its location into account.</p> <p>Ultimately, the reason people find it hard to afford housing in certain locations is because they need to achieve a work-life balance. Both <a href="https://www.citymetric.com/transport/no-hong-kong-has-best-transport-system-world-mtr-trams-boats-4148">Hong Kong</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_in_Singapore#Public_transport">Singapore</a> have developed extensive public transport systems. These offer affordable options for people to travel efficiently to and from work.</p> <p>In Hong Kong, the average daily commuting time by public transport is 73 minutes. Some 21% of the residents have to travel for more than two hours a day. In Singapore, average commuting time is 84 minutes, with 25% exceeding two hours.</p> <p>In Sydney, the average time is 82 minutes, but 31% take more than two hours. This means a significantly <a href="https://moovitapp.com/insights/en-gb/Moovit_Insights_Public_Transport_Index-1678">larger proportion of Sydney residents spend more time on public transport</a>. Among the <a href="http://theconversation.com/another-tale-of-two-cities-access-to-jobs-divides-sydney-along-the-latte-line-96907">worst-affected are white-collar workers from the city’s west and southwest</a>.</p> <h2>Lessons from the 3 cities</h2> <p>So, what we can learn from these cities’ experiences with housing affordability?</p> <p>Cities take very different approaches to these issues. Each approach has its own merits and issues.</p> <p>A key argument against public housing has been that it might give the tenants less incentive to save for housing. It might also not be popular with mainstream voters because of the cost to taxpayers.</p> <p>Singapore’s approach seems to be a midway solution. The government plays a bigger role in providing housing, but does not waive individual responsibilities. Providing public housing and at the same time demanding individuals and employers contribute can send a strong signal: people are encouraged to join the labour force.</p> <p>So far, Singapore faces the least housing affordability issues. Hong Kong and Sydney are much more liberal in their approaches to housing.</p> <p>In Sydney, only the poorest benefit from the public housing system. The younger generation is struggling to get on the housing ladder.</p> <p>In Hong Kong, people are forced to buy housing in the commercial market if their income is even just above the eligibility line for public housing. The severe unaffordability of private housing in Hong Kong, even for young professionals, brews social discontent.</p> <p>Combining these three perspectives, Sydney’s housing, savings and public transport systems are far from well synergised to offer a competitive package of affordable housing. The <a href="https://www.greater.sydney/metropolis-of-three-cities">30-minute city plan</a> prepared by the Greater Sydney Commission might improve the situation. However, similar to Hong Kong, current policies are weak in building the capacity of young people to own homes.<!-- 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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/123443/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><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/youqing-fan-483837">Youqing Fan</a>, Lecturer, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bingqin-li-425950">Bingqin Li</a>, Associate Professor and Director of Chinese Social Policy Program, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-1414">UNSW</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chyi-lin-lee-368009">Chyi Lin Lee</a>, Associate Professor of Property, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-1414">UNSW</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/affordable-housing-lessons-from-sydney-hong-kong-and-singapore-3-keys-to-getting-the-policy-mix-right-123443">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Bill Roque/Shutterstock</em></p>

Home Hints & Tips

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Free to good home: The house that costs zero dollars but comes with a catch

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a deal that’s almost too good to be true, a four-bedroom Sydney house is free to a good home. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, it comes with a catch: its new owners will need to remove it from the property and find a new patch of land to transport it to.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The home, listed on Facebook and </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/cronulla/other-real-estate/house-for-removal-free-/1288343408" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gumtree</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, is sure to gain some interest as property prices continue to skyrocket across the city.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In Kirrawee in Sydney’s south, where the home is currently located, the median house price reached $1.3 million in the year ending last September, coming at an 18.2 percent increase on prices from the year prior.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In comparison, the new homeowners will only need to pay to remove the home - which can cost </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/property/news/four-bedroom-house-offered-free-with-just-one-catch-20220117-p59oru.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">around $70,000</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> on top of reconnection to services and plaster setting at the new site.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Not your usual Facebook marketplace item! Free house - you only need to pay for removal and transport! How does that work out financially? Is that something anyone’s had experience with? Excuse me for being fascinated by any concept that isn’t COVID and/or Djokovic 😂 🏡 <a href="https://t.co/ugD9keuSLV">pic.twitter.com/ugD9keuSLV</a></p> — Lucy Thackray (@LucyThack) <a href="https://twitter.com/LucyThack/status/1482281605163286530?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 15, 2022</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">According to the ad, which has since been shared on Twitter, the home is about 60 years old and comes with two bathrooms, two living spaces, a modern kitchen and a laundry.</p> <p dir="ltr">Homes have been known to sell without the land they stand on, with the home used as the set for<span> </span><em>The Castle</em><span> </span>selling for $40,000 at auction in 2017 as a relocatable home.</p> <p dir="ltr">In 2018, another house-only sale made headlines when it was listed for just $5,000 - a much cheaper option compared to the $25,000 it may have cost to demolish.</p> <p dir="ltr">As for the Kirrawee house, the deadline to clear the site is at the end of February, with the home able to be picked up at the start of March.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: @LucyThack (Twitter), Gumtree</em></p>

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