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Mothers’ dieting habits and self-talk have profound impact on daughters − 2 psychologists explain how to cultivate healthy behaviors and body image

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janet-j-boseovski-451496">Janet J. Boseovski</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-north-carolina-greensboro-2069">University of North Carolina – Greensboro</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ashleigh-gallagher-1505989">Ashleigh Gallagher</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-north-carolina-greensboro-2069">University of North Carolina – Greensboro</a></em></p> <p>Weight loss is one of the most common health and appearance-related goals.</p> <p>Women and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db340.htm">teen girls</a> are <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db313.htm">especially likely to pursue dieting</a> to achieve weight loss goals even though a great deal of research shows that <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-thin-people-dont-understand-about-dieting-86604">dieting doesn’t work over the long term</a>.</p> <p>We are a <a href="https://www.duck-lab.com/people">developmental psychologist</a> and a <a href="https://psy.uncg.edu/directory/ashleigh-gallagher/">social psychologist</a> who together wrote a forthcoming book, “Beyond Body Positive: A Mother’s Evidence-Based Guide for Helping Girls Build a Healthy Body Image.”</p> <p>In the book, we address topics such as the effects of maternal dieting behaviors on daughters’ health and well-being. We provide information on how to build a foundation for healthy body image beginning in girlhood.</p> <h2>Culturally defined body ideals</h2> <p>Given the strong influence of social media and other cultural influences on body ideals, it’s understandable that so many people pursue diets aimed at weight loss. <a href="https://communityhealth.mayoclinic.org/featured-stories/tiktok-diets">TikTok</a>, YouTube, Instagram and celebrity websites feature slim influencers and “how-tos” for achieving those same results in no time.</p> <p>For example, women and teens are engaging in rigid and extreme forms of exercise such as 54D, a program to <a href="https://54d.com/">achieve body transformation in 54 days</a>, or the <a href="https://health.clevelandclinic.org/75-hard-challenge-and-rules">75 Hard Challenge</a>, which is to follow five strict rules for 75 days.</p> <p>For teens, these pursuits are likely fueled by trendy body preoccupations such as the desire for “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/06/well/move/tiktok-legging-legs-eating-disorders.html">legging legs</a>.”</p> <p>Women and teens have also been been inundated with recent messaging around <a href="https://theconversation.com/drugs-that-melt-away-pounds-still-present-more-questions-than-answers-but-ozempic-wegovy-and-mounjaro-could-be-key-tools-in-reducing-the-obesity-epidemic-205549">quick-fix weight loss drugs</a>, which come with a lot of caveats.</p> <p>Dieting and weight loss goals are highly individual, and when people are intensely self-focused, it is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2000.19.1.70">possible to lose sight of the bigger picture</a>. Although women might wonder what the harm is in trying the latest diet, science shows that dieting behavior doesn’t just affect the dieter. In particular, for women who are mothers or who have other girls in their lives, these behaviors affect girls’ emerging body image and their health and well-being.</p> <h2>The profound effect of maternal role models</h2> <p>Research shows that mothers and maternal figures <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2017.11.001">have a profound influence on their daughters’ body image</a>.</p> <p>The opportunity to influence girls’ body image comes far earlier than adolescence. In fact, research shows that these influences on body image <a href="https://www.teenvogue.com/story/how-toxic-diet-culture-is-passed-from-moms-to-daughters">begin very early in life</a> – <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.acdb.2016.10.006">during the preschool years</a>.</p> <p>Mothers may feel that they are being discreet about their dieting behavior, but little girls are watching and listening, and they are far more observant of us than many might think.</p> <p>For example, one study revealed that compared with daughters of nondieting women, 5-year-old girls whose mothers dieted <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(00)00339-4">were aware of the connection between dieting and thinness</a>.</p> <p>Mothers’ eating behavior does not just affect girls’ ideas about dieting, but also their daughters’ eating behavior. The amount of food that mothers eat <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.04.018">predicts how much their daughters will eat</a>. In addition, daughters whose mothers are dieters are <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.04.018">more likely to become dieters themselves</a> and are also <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2007.03.001">more likely to have a negative body image</a>.</p> <p>Negative body image is <a href="https://theconversation.com/mounting-research-documents-the-harmful-effects-of-social-media-use-on-mental-health-including-body-image-and-development-of-eating-disorders-206170">not a trivial matter</a>. It affects girls’ and women’s mental and physical well-being in a <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105317710815">host of ways</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2011.06.009">can predict the emergence of eating disorders</a>.</p> <h2>Avoiding ‘fat talk’</h2> <p>What can moms do, then, to serve their daughters’ and their own health?</p> <p>They can focus on small steps. And although it is best to begin these efforts early in life – in girlhood – it is never too late to do so.</p> <p>For example, mothers can consider how they think about and talk about themselves around their daughters. Engaging in “fat talk” may inadvertently send their daughters the message that larger bodies are bad, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.07.004">contributing to weight bias</a> and negative self-image. Mothers’ fat talk also <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/15267431.2021.1908294">predicts later body dissatisfaction in daughters</a>.</p> <p>And negative self-talk isn’t good for mothers, either; it is associated with <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105318781943">lower motivation and unhealthful eating</a>. Mothers can instead practice and model self-compassion, which involves treating oneself the way <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.03.003">a loving friend might treat you</a>.</p> <p>In discussions about food and eating behavior, it is important to avoid moralizing certain kinds of food by labeling them as “good” or “bad,” as girls may extend these labels to their personal worth. For example, a young girl may feel that she is being “bad” if she eats dessert, if that is what she has learned from observing the women around her. In contrast, she may feel that she has to eat a salad to be “good.”</p> <p>Moms and other female role models can make sure that the dinner plate sends a healthy message to their daughters by showing instead that all foods can fit into a balanced diet when the time is right. Intuitive eating, which emphasizes paying attention to hunger and satiety and allows flexibility in eating behavior, is associated with <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-020-00852-4">better physical and mental health in adolescence</a>.</p> <p>Another way that women and especially moms can buffer girls’ body image is by helping their daughters <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2021.12.009">to develop media literacy</a> and to think critically about the nature and purpose of media. For example, moms can discuss the misrepresentation and distortion of bodies, such as the use of filters to enhance physical appearance, on social media.</p> <h2>Focusing on healthful behaviors</h2> <p>One way to begin to focus on health behaviors rather than dieting behaviors is to develop respect for the body and to <a href="https://theconversation.com/body-neutrality-what-it-is-and-how-it-can-help-lead-to-more-positive-body-image-191799">consider body neutrality</a>. In other words, prize body function rather than appearance and spend less time thinking about your body’s appearance. Accept that there are times when you may not feel great about your body, and that this is OK.</p> <p>To feel and look their best, mothers can aim to stick to a <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-the-best-diet-for-healthy-sleep-a-nutritional-epidemiologist-explains-what-food-choices-will-help-you-get-more-restful-zs-219955">healthy sleep schedule</a>, manage their stress levels, <a href="https://theconversation.com/fiber-is-your-bodys-natural-guide-to-weight-management-rather-than-cutting-carbs-out-of-your-diet-eat-them-in-their-original-fiber-packaging-instead-205159">eat a varied diet</a> that includes all of the foods that they enjoy, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-runners-high-may-result-from-molecules-called-cannabinoids-the-bodys-own-version-of-thc-and-cbd-170796">move and exercise their bodies regularly</a> as lifelong practices, rather than engaging in quick-fix trends.</p> <p>Although many of these tips sound familiar, and perhaps even simple, they become effective when we recognize their importance and begin acting on them. Mothers can work toward modeling these behaviors and tailor each of them to their daughter’s developmental level. It’s never too early to start.</p> <h2>Promoting healthy body image</h2> <p>Science shows that several personal characteristics are associated with body image concerns among women.</p> <p>For example, research shows that women who are <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.02.001">higher in neuroticism</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1186/2050-2974-1-2">and perfectionism</a>, <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.983534">lower in self-compassion</a> or <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2013.08.001">lower in self-efficacy</a> are all more likely to struggle with negative body image.</p> <p>Personality is frequently defined as a person’s characteristic pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviors. But if they wish, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/per.1945">mothers can change personality characteristics</a> that they feel aren’t serving them well.</p> <p>For example, perfectionist tendencies – such as setting unrealistic, inflexible goals – can be examined, challenged and replaced with more rational thoughts and behaviors. A woman who believes she must work out every day can practice being more flexible in her thinking. One who thinks of dessert as “cheating” can practice resisting moral judgments about food.</p> <p>Changing habitual ways of thinking, feeling and behaving certainly takes effort and time, but it is far more likely than diet trends to bring about sustainable, long-term change. And taking the first steps to modify even a few of these habits can positively affect daughters.</p> <p>In spite of all the noise from media and other cultural influences, mothers can feel empowered knowing that they have a significant influence on their daughters’ feelings about, and treatment of, their bodies.</p> <p>In this way, mothers’ modeling of healthier attitudes and behaviors is a sound investment – for both their own body image and that of the girls they love.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221968/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janet-j-boseovski-451496"><em>Janet J. Boseovski</em></a><em>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-north-carolina-greensboro-2069">University of North Carolina – Greensboro</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ashleigh-gallagher-1505989">Ashleigh Gallagher</a>, Senior Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-north-carolina-greensboro-2069">University of North Carolina – Greensboro</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/mothers-dieting-habits-and-self-talk-have-profound-impact-on-daughters-2-psychologists-explain-how-to-cultivate-healthy-behaviors-and-body-image-221968">original article</a>.</em></p>

Mind

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

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/iris-lim-1204657">Iris Lim</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a></em></p> <p>Dealing with chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs) means facing more than the occasional discomfort. It’s like being on a never ending battlefield against an unseen adversary, making simple daily activities a trial.</p> <p>UTIs happen when bacteria sneak into the urinary system, causing pain and frequent trips to the bathroom.</p> <p>Chronic UTIs take this to the next level, coming back repeatedly or never fully going away despite treatment. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557479/">Chronic UTIs</a> are typically diagnosed when a person experiences two or more infections within six months or three or more within a year.</p> <p>They can happen to anyone, but some are more prone due to their <a href="https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/u/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults">body’s makeup or habits</a>. Women are more likely to get UTIs than men, due to their shorter urethra and hormonal changes during menopause that can decrease the protective lining of the urinary tract. Sexually active people are also at greater risk, as bacteria can be transferred around the area.</p> <p>Up to <a href="https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/u/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults#Related%20Resources">60% of women</a> will have at least one UTI in their lifetime. While effective treatments exist, <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/bladder-and-bowel/when-urinary-tract-infections-keep-coming-back#:%7E:text=Your%20urine%20might%20be%20cloudy,they%20take%20on%20your%20life.">about 25%</a> of women face recurrent infections within six months. Around <a href="https://sciendo.com/article/10.33073/pjm-2019-048?tab=article">20–30%</a> of UTIs don’t respond to standard antibiotic. The challenge of chronic UTIs lies in bacteria’s ability to shield themselves against treatments.</p> <h2>Why are chronic UTIs so hard to treat?</h2> <p>Once thought of as straightforward infections cured by antibiotics, we now know chronic UTIs are complex. The cunning nature of the bacteria responsible for the condition allows them to hide in bladder walls, out of antibiotics’ reach.</p> <p>The bacteria form biofilms, a kind of protective barrier that makes them nearly impervious to standard antibiotic treatments.</p> <p>This ability to evade treatment has led to a troubling <a href="https://theconversation.com/rising-antibiotic-resistance-in-utis-could-cost-australia-1-6-billion-a-year-by-2030-heres-how-to-curb-it-149543">increase in antibiotic resistance</a>, a global health concern that renders some of the conventional treatments ineffective.</p> <p>Antibiotics need to be advanced to keep up with evolving bacteria, in a similar way to the flu vaccine, which is updated annually to combat the latest strains of the flu virus. If we used the same flu vaccine year after year, its effectiveness would wane, just as overused antibiotics lose their power against bacteria that have adapted.</p> <p>But fighting bacteria that resist antibiotics is much tougher than updating the flu vaccine. Bacteria change in ways that are harder to predict, making it more challenging to create new, effective antibiotics. It’s like a never-ending game where the bacteria are always one step ahead.</p> <p>Treating chronic UTIs still relies heavily on antibiotics, but doctors are getting crafty, changing up medications or prescribing low doses over a longer time to outwit the bacteria.</p> <p>Doctors are also placing a greater emphasis on thorough diagnostics to accurately identify chronic UTIs from the outset. By asking detailed questions about the duration and frequency of symptoms, health-care providers can better distinguish between isolated UTI episodes and chronic conditions.</p> <p>The approach to initial treatment can significantly influence the likelihood of a UTI becoming chronic. Early, targeted therapy, based on the specific bacteria causing the infection and its antibiotic sensitivity, may reduce the risk of recurrence.</p> <p>For post-menopausal women, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00192-020-04397-z">estrogen therapy</a> has shown promise in reducing the risk of recurrent UTIs. After menopause, the decrease in estrogen levels can lead to changes in the urinary tract that makes it more susceptible to infections. This treatment restores the balance of the vaginal and urinary tract environments, making it less likely for UTIs to occur.</p> <p>Lifestyle changes, such as <a href="https://journals.lww.com/co-nephrolhypertens/FullText/2013/05001/Impact_of_fluid_intake_in_the_prevention_of.1.aspx">drinking more water</a> and practising good hygiene like washing hands with soap after going to the toilet and the recommended front-to-back wiping for women, also play a big role.</p> <p>Some swear by cranberry juice or supplements, though researchers are still figuring out <a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001322.pub2/full">how effective these remedies truly are</a>.</p> <h2>What treatments might we see in the future?</h2> <p>Scientists are currently working on new treatments for chronic UTIs. One promising avenue is the development of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10052183/pdf/pathogens-12-00359.pdf">vaccines</a> aimed at preventing UTIs altogether, much like flu shots prepare our immune system to fend off the flu.</p> <p>Another new method being looked at is called <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12223-019-00750-y">phage therapy</a>. It uses special viruses called bacteriophages that go after and kill only the bad bacteria causing UTIs, while leaving the good bacteria in our body alone. This way, it doesn’t make the bacteria resistant to treatment, which is a big plus.</p> <p>Researchers are also exploring the potential of <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2079-6382/12/1/167">probiotics</a>. Probiotics introduce beneficial bacteria into the urinary tract to out-compete harmful pathogens. These good bacteria work by occupying space and resources in the urinary tract, making it harder for harmful pathogens to establish themselves.</p> <p>Probiotics can also produce substances that inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and enhance the body’s immune response.</p> <p>Chronic UTIs represent a stubborn challenge, but with a mix of current treatments and promising research, we’re getting closer to a day when chronic UTIs are a thing of the past.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223008/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/iris-lim-1204657">I<em>ris Lim</em></a><em>, Assistant Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-do-i-keep-getting-urinary-tract-infections-and-why-are-chronic-utis-so-hard-to-treat-223008">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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The types of insurance that aren’t worth your while

<p>While it’s important to make sure you’ve been covered, some forms of insurance aren’t really worth your while in the long run. We’ve taken a look at several types of insurance you shouldn’t really bother with, why they’re not worth your money and how you can find an alternative.</p> <p>Yes, it’s essential to make sure you’re covered, but at the same time you don’t need to waste any money.</p> <p><strong>Extended warranties</strong></p> <p>Many a salesperson has made a customer fork out that little bit extra for an “extended warranty” to go with a major electronic purchase. The thing is though, in many cases the period of time covered by the warranty is actually exactly the level you’re automatically entitled to under consumer law.</p> <p><strong>Credit protection insurance</strong></p> <p>While this type of insurance can be useful and a way to insure yourself against the possibility of something happening to your income as the result of an injury or a condition, credit protection insurance has tendency to be pretty expensive.</p> <p>A more cost effective way to ensure your payments to your credit card, personal loans or mortgages are fulfilled would be to take out a life insurance or total and permanent disability insurance policy through your individual superannuation fund.</p> <p><strong>Funeral insurance</strong></p> <p>Many people see this as a good way to ease the financial burden on their family that comes with their passing, but in reality funeral insurance is quite expensive and the premiums add up every year.</p> <p>A far better option is a prepaid funeral, funeral bonds life insurance or even a special savings account with money set aside. Just make sure you let your family know!</p> <p><strong>ID theft insurance</strong></p> <p>This is one of those types of insurance that isn’t really protecting your from becoming a victim, rather helping you deal with the costs once it’s already happened. And what’s more, you bank is usually willing to cover the costs of credit card fraud, which is one of the major problems to be associated with ID theft.</p> <p>Instead of spending money on a policy you can protect yourself from ID theft by simply keeping your personal documents safe, shredding documents such as bank account statements before throwing them away, and using antivirus software that is up to date. You can also check your credit file each year to make sure nobody’s using your identity for fake accounts.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Money & Banking

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3 cholesterol myths debunked

<p>For years, cholesterol has been seen as the villain in your diet – responsible for many of the health woes people experience daily. But many of the “facts” about cholesterol are actually just misconceptions. So let’s clear up some of these myths now.</p> <p>As with everything to do with your diet, any major changes should be made in consultation with your healthcare professional or a nutritionist to make sure it’s right for you.</p> <p><strong>Cholesterol is bad for you</strong></p> <p>Just like cake, cholesterol should be enjoyed in moderation. Interestingly, it actually performs many important functions. It helps produce cell membranes, vitamin D, hormones, and helps with digestion. It also plays a role in helping to form memories.</p> <p>And, believe it or not, cholesterol is naturally created by your body. So most of the cholesterol in your bloodstream is not there because of your diet.</p> <p><strong>Eggs are the enemy</strong></p> <p>People with high cholesterol levels used to be advised to avoid eating too many eggs, but they’ve recently been put back on the “safe list.” Research at Yale University actually showed that even people with coronary heart disease could eat two eggs each day for six weeks without any effect on their cholesterol levels.</p> <p><strong>Low-fat diets are the best</strong></p> <p>While saturated fats do increase the “bad” cholesterol (LDL), it also increases the levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL). A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine showed no link between the consumption of saturated fats and an increased risk of heart attacks.</p> <p>Foods that are high or low in saturated fat can have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on your body – it all depends on the type of food. A diet that is low in carbohydrates is more effective at raising the levels of “good” cholesterol in your system.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Body

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Read this before choosing a retirement village

<p>Making the move from your own home into a retirement village is a huge decision. And with more than 2,000 villages around the country there’s a world of choice. These are some of the things you need to know before you make the move.</p> <p><strong>Get your priorities straight</strong></p> <p>Think about the kind of village you can see yourself living in. Make a list of features that you absolutely must have and a list of those that are desirable but not essential. Don’t be tempted to compromise on the first list because you could end up very unhappy in the long run.</p> <p>Do your research and find a village that meets your requirements. Don’t rush into somewhere that you aren’t completely sure about.</p> <p><strong>Money, money, money</strong></p> <p>Retirement villages aren’t cheap so you’ll need to be realistic about what it’s going to cost and how much you have to spend. It’s a good idea to see a professional financial adviser to get a complete picture of your financial situation, including things like selling your current home, super and any shares you own.</p> <p>You will have to sign a contract with the village before you move in, so get your financial adviser or a lawyer to go over it with you and make sure you understand all your obligations.</p> <p><strong>Location is key</strong></p> <p>As with any move, you need to think carefully about location. If the village is a long way from your current residence it can drastically alter your social life and connections with friends and family.</p> <p>You also need to think about proximity to public transport, shops, health services and community activities.</p> <p><strong>Choose your style</strong></p> <p>Retirement villages range from self-contained independent living to serviced accommodation and residential aged care. They also vary greatly in size from just a handful of units to villages with hundreds of residents. Larger villages tend to have more facilities, so if you’re an active person who loves to swim or play tennis then this could be the choice for you.</p> <p>However, extra facilities come with extra costs so if these aren’t important to you then you could find a cheaper option. You’ll also want to find out about communal dining options and social activities or groups within the village.</p> <p><strong>Get the help you need</strong></p> <p>As with accommodation styles, there is a wide range in the levels of assistance available. This can be as basic as having a cleaner come once a week right up to full nursing care. Some villages have the option to raise your level of care as you age or become unwell, which can be a better option than moving into a new village.</p> <p><strong>Stick to the rules</strong></p> <p>Can visitors stay the night? Can I have a pet? Is there a system for resolving disputes? You’ll want to be familiar with the rules and regulations of the village so read the fine print in your contract or ask questions before you commit.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Retirement Life

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The one thing you must do before retirement

<p>When you think about planning for retirement, the standard advice is to take a thorough look at your superannuation and finances. Although money is undoubtedly an important aspect of retirement planning, making a plan for your emotion and physical wellbeing is just as crucial.</p> <p>New research from the UK has found that retirement can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. The study, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, looked at the impact of retirement on 7,000 people aged 50 to 70, and found that while retirement gives most people a small health booth, over the medium to long-term it causes a “drastic decline in health”.</p> <p>For both men and women, retirement decreases the likelihood of "very good” or "excellent" self-reported health by 40 per cent, increases risk for depression by 40 per cent, and diagnosis of a physical illness by 60 per cent. The study’s lead author, Gabriel Sahlgren, noted: "Work, especially paid work, gives many people a sense of purpose. Losing that may lead to declines in health."</p> <p>The lesson: Make a plan for your emotional and physical health.</p> <p>“Don't wait until you retire to decide how you're going to keep busy,” Dave Bernard, retirement blogger and author of Are You Just Existing and Calling it a Life?, told Prevention, adding, “And you need to look well beyond the first six months.”</p> <p>Just as it’s necessary to make sure your finances are in order before retirement, it’s crucial to ask yourself: What will my new sense of purpose in retirement be?</p> <p>“Many times, adults might not think about what it actually means to be retired, or they think about retirement in abstract terms,” says Angela Curl, an assistant professor in the University of Missouri School of Social Work.</p> <p>She says you need to make concrete plans for retirement. “If you want to volunteer when you are retired, ask yourself where and how often. Having specific plans and steps to follow will help you enter retirement more easily,” says Curl.</p> <p>Creating a plan of how you’ll spend your time when you retire will keep you mentally and physically strong, ensuring that you’ll be healthy enough to enjoy your well-deserved retirement.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Retirement Life

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12 super simple ways to save some cash

<p>Saving money is a lot easier said than done. Whether you’ve got a holiday you’re thinking about taking, or you just want to make day to day life a little less stressful, there is a range of strategies you can employ to put a couple of dimes together. Here are 12 tips to cut costs:</p> <p>1. Don't buy luxury, sometimes the budget brands are just as good and save you heaps.</p> <p>2. Read the junk mail and compare offers because you can get a better deal where you didn't think you could.</p> <p>3. Cut unnecessary expenses and reduce, if possible, the necessary expenses as well.</p> <p>4. Buy used goods, it's cheaper and you can haggle.</p> <p>5. See if you can switch power companies. I'm aware of several people who are saving $250 a year.</p> <p>6. Borrow books and movies from the library or movie store - it's free or low cost compared to buying new and it's fast.</p> <p>7. Barter with family and friends, it's free and everyone wins.</p> <p>8. Take advantage of specials, sales and deals including buying in bulk, it can save you more than you realise.</p> <p>9. Walk, bike or car pool or use other public transport, it's good for the environment and saves you money.</p> <p>10. Shop around for the best deal, it might be better elsewhere.</p> <p>11. Follow insurance company advice: Don't smoke, do have alarms and do get multi policies - it protects you and saves cash.</p> <p>12. Have a savings account with all the savings from this and don't touch it, you will be amazed at what you have saved in a short time.</p> <p><em>Written by John Murphy. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Police officer arrested amid search for missing men

<p>A police officer has turned himself in over the <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/police-officer-sought-in-connection-to-disappearance-of-two-men" target="_blank" rel="noopener">suspicious disappearance</a> of two men. </p> <p>Former Network Ten presenter 26-year-old Jesse Baird and his boyfriend 29-year-old Luke Davies were last seen on Monday, with police launching an extensive investigation into their disappearance. </p> <p>On Thursday, officers called for Constable Beau Lamarre to come forward as part of the investigation, believing he could hold valuable information. </p> <p>Now, on Friday morning, the celebrity blogger turned police officer presented at Bondi Police Station where he was arrested. </p> <p>The man was then taken to Waverley Police Station where he is assisting with inquiries, police said.</p> <p>During a press conference on Friday afternoon, a lead investigator confirmed the young officer has been charged with two counts of murder, while adding the families of the young men have been told the investigation is being treated as a homicide. </p> <p>Lamarre is an ex-partner of Baird and was a former celebrity blogger before joining NSW Police in 2020.</p> <p><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Online the 28-year-old would often go by the pseudonym Beau London, creating accounts on social media and a celebrity blog page titled That's The Tea, where he posted selfies alongside celebrities such as </span><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">An investigation began into Baird and Davies' disappearance after number of their personal items, including a watch, clothes, credit cards and keys were found by a worker in Club Cronulla, with blood stains present on the items. </p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">Police have also searched two homes during their investigation - one in Balmain and one in Paddington - with officers "immediately" establishing a crime scene at the Paddington home after finding blood spatters. </p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">According to officers, a “significant” amount of blood consistent with a fatality and signs of a struggle were discovered inside Mr Baird’s Paddington home on Thursday afternoon. </p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';"><em>Image credits: 9News / Instagram </em></p>

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"Eventful walk home": Barnaby Joyce explains why he was found collapsed on footpath

<p>Barnaby Joyce, the Nationals frontbencher, has recently found himself at the centre of public attention after a video surfaced showing him lying on a footpath in Canberra, seemingly in an inebriated state.</p> <p>In a statement to Seven's <em>Sunrise</em> on Monday morning, Joyce attributed the incident to mixing alcohol with prescription medication.</p> <p>“It was a very eventful walk home, wasn’t it,” he said to host Nat Barr. "I’m on a prescription drug, and they say certain things may happen to you if you drink, and they were absolutely 100 per cent right. They did.”</p> <p>Barr then replied: “So you mixed alcohol with prescription medication, did you, and this is what happened?”</p> <p>“That’s exactly what I said, yep,” Joyce responded.</p> <p>In the video footage captured on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, initially obtained by <em>The Daily Mail</em>, <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Joyce can be seen lying on his back, mumbling into his phone, prompting concerns from passersby.</span></p> <p>Prime Minister Anthony Albanese urged Joyce to provide a credible explanation. “People will certainly make their own judgements on that," Albanese told the ABC. "People will see that footage, they will look for an explanation that has some credibility and they’ll look for leadership from the leader of the Liberal Party and the leader of the National Party about this.”</p> <p>Treasurer Jim Chalmers expressed concern for Joyce's wellbeing, calling for an explanation while refraining from personal attacks.</p> <p>The incident has prompted discussions within political circles, with Nationals leader David Littleproud stating that Joyce would receive the necessary support. However, Joyce's decision to skip a party meeting where the incident was to be discussed indicates ongoing uncertainty surrounding the situation.</p> <p><em>Images: Sunrise / Seven</em></p>

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Kate Langbroek reignites Australia Day debate

<p>The annual celebration of Australia Day on January 26th has long been a subject of contention, but the debate has recently reignited with fervour.</p> <p>Radio personality and long-time panellist on The Project, Kate Langbroek, has weighed in on the matter by saying that altering the date won't resolve the underlying issues.</p> <p>She also lamented the sense of shame felt by many Australians on what should be a day of national pride.</p> <p>"I don't believe that if the date changed that it would be the end of these discussions and this discontent," she said. "But people have a hunger for something to celebrate about their nation, who want to be proud about their nation, and want to be able to have it on an annual basis. I think it's fair enough to want that."</p> <p>In response to her comments, co-host Rove McManus replied: "It does lead to the greater discussion for us as a nation of acknowledging that past so we can celebrate where we are now, which we still haven't done no matter what the day." </p> <p>The discussion on <em>The Project</em> underscored the complexity of the issue. While some, like Langbroek, advocate for maintaining the current date as a day of celebration, others argue for its change to acknowledge the painful history of colonisation.</p> <p>Langbroek then shared an anecdote about how a hesitant greeting of "Happy Australia Day" that she received only goes to show the level of discomfort and ambivalence surrounding the holiday. "[He] then sort of slunk away as if what he said was shameful. I know the reasons for it, I understand the reasons, but it's a great pity for our nation," she said.</p> <p>Co-host Georgie Tunny then proposed the idea of designating January 26th as a day of mourning while finding an alternative date for celebration – a notion met with both sarcasm and consideration. </p> <p>The public response to the panel discussion was predictably polarised . While some adamantly defend the tradition of celebrating Australia Day on January 26th, others advocate for change, citing the need to confront Australia's colonial past honestly.</p> <p>Amidst the discord, there are calls for innovative approaches to Australia Day. Suggestions range from incorporating solemn remembrance of Indigenous heritage in the morning to hosting citizenship ceremonies and festive events later in the day – a reflection of the nation's aspirations for unity and inclusivity.</p> <p><em>Images: The Project</em></p>

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“A beautiful soul”: Teenager killed in Aus Day boat crash identified

<p dir="ltr">The teenager killed in a fatal boat crash on Australia Day has been identified, as her heartbroken family remember her as a “beautiful soul”. </p> <p dir="ltr">Darcy Davey-Sutherland was enjoying a day on the water when two tinnies collided near the Gray’s Point boat ramp in Sydney’s Sutherlandshire, where the 16-year-old was critically injured. </p> <p dir="ltr">Paramedics arrived on the scene and transported Darcy to St George’s Hospital, where she later died. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 16-year-old was wearing a lifejacket at the time of the crash, and it is believed onlookers found her face down in the water and performed CPR on the teenager until paramedics arrived.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her father, Michael Davey-Sutherland, said his daughter was "the beacon of light within our family" in both the UK and Australia.</p> <p dir="ltr">"She was about to embark on the most special part of life as she stepped into adulthood," Michael told <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/sydney-darcy-sutherland-killed-in-grays-point-boat-crash/794e7737-9970-4e41-80b0-4324c4d6db5c" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>9News</em></a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Words cannot describe the pain we feel at the moment."</p> <p dir="ltr">Darcy, who was the eldest child and was very close to her two younger brothers, was also fondly remembered by her family and friends online.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I will miss you so much Darc, I feel like I've lost a part of me," one person said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Will forever love you. You will forever be missed, my beautiful angel, I will never forget our time together," another said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I pray for your family to find the strength to live with their forever broken heart, keeping your memory alive. Rest beautiful girl," a third added.</p> <p dir="ltr">A <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/darcy-sutherland">GoFundMe</a> page set up to help the Davey-Sutherland family has already seen more than $40,000 raised in 24 hours.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: 9News / Facebook</em></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-ece18212-7fff-7359-edb0-233aa1d71116"></span></p>

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Iconic Star Trek actor dies suddenly at age 73

<p dir="ltr">Iconic <em>Star Trek: Enterprise</em> actor Gary Graham has passed away suddenly at the age of 73. </p> <p dir="ltr">The actor’s ex-wife Susan Lavelle confirmed the news in an emotional facebook post, sharing their family’s devastation over his death. </p> <p dir="ltr">The family chose not to disclose his cause of death, only writing that his passing was “sudden” and came as a “shock”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It is with deep profound sadness to say that Gary Graham, my ex-husband, amazing actor and father of our beautiful only child together, Haylee Graham, has passed away today,” Lavelle wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We are completely devastated, especially our daughter Haley. His wife, Becky, was by his side.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She went on to share some of her favourite things about her ex-husband, writing that he was “Funny, sarcastic sense of humour but kind, fought for what he believed in, a devout Christian and was so proud of his daughter, Haylee.”</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsusanashleylavelle%2Fposts%2Fpfbid0XTf8xMGFeD96Ehnk6a8X7RcKQYDxdHvvm3S82J24FX3eaNwtVo3Uax6H4SvQW3YKl&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=500" width="500" height="777" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">“This was sudden, so please pray for our daughter as she navigates through this thing called grief,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Fly high into the heavens Gar!”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Thank you for our journey and thank you for the gifts you left me in acting, my love of horses and most importantly, our daughter.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Gary shot to fame in Hollywood for his role in the ‘80s series <em>Alien Nation</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">He stayed in the world of sci-fi as he played Vulcan Ambassador Soval on <em>Star Trek: Enterprise</em> between 2001 and 2005.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gary also starred in TV series such as <em>Starsky and Hutch</em> and <em>The Dukes of Hazzard</em>, before acting alongside Tom Cruise in the film <em>All the Right Moves</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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"Other cities will follow": Big trouble ahead for SUV owners

<p>Paris residents have voted to charge SUVs triple the cost of parking compared to standard sized cars in a bid to tackle air pollution and improve safety. </p> <p>54.6 per cent of residents voted to pass the plan, with the new parking tariffs expected to start in September. </p> <p>The price increase will apply to on-street parking for vehicles with combustion or hybrid engines weighing more than 1.6 tonnes and electric vehicles weighing over two tonnes.</p> <p>The change means that the vehicles will pay €18 (A$29.69) an hour for parking in the centre of Paris, up from €6 (A$9.90), and €12 (A$19.79) an hour in the rest of the city, up from €4 (A$6.60).</p> <p>"Parisians have made a clear choice … other cities will follow,” Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said. </p> <p>Experts are onboard with the move and believe the Australia should do the same thing. </p> <p>Urban access consultant and author of the book<em> Rethinking Parking</em> David Mepham said that the move could help improve safety as: “SUVs are actually some of the most unsafe vehicles on the road for pedestrians with a fatality rate that is significantly higher than other vehicles.”</p> <p>“The injury and fatality rate should be a concern in highly pedestrianised areas such as city centres.”</p> <p>In 2022 alone, SUV and light commercial vehicles made up 76.8 per cent of car sales, coming in eighth on the top 10 vehicle sales according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.</p> <p>With spaces in the cities limited, Mepham added: “If you’ve got a larger car you should expect to pay more for that, you should pay for what you use.”</p> <p>Standards Australia has recently proposed to increase the size of off-street parking spaces by 20 centimetres in Australia, from 5.4 metres to 5.6 metres, which would make it easier for larger vehicles to park, but would limit car spaces. </p> <p>Executive director of the Australia Institute, Richard Dennis also said that SUV owners need to face the consequences of owning a larger vehicle. </p> <p>“If we want to drive much bigger cars, are we going to widen all of our city streets, are we going to have less car parking spaces?” he said.</p> <p>“Because if we want to drive these cars we need to own the consequences.”</p> <p>Marion Terrill, an independent transport expert, also agreed that higher parking fees for large vehicles are “absolutely reasonable.”</p> <p>“If you want more of it you can pay more, it’s the same principle as paying for parking at all," she said. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Dive below the surface with the Underwater Photographer of the Year awards

<p>There's a world beneath us that we don't know much about, and photographers around the world have all tried to capture its beauty. </p> <p>With over 6,500 photos submitted for this year's Underwater Photographer of the Year contest, one photo captured the panel of judges' heart - Alex Dawson's 'Whale Bones'. </p> <p>The image shows a diver swimming among the enormous skeletons of slaughtered whales off the coast of Greenland. </p> <p>"Whale Bones was photographed in the toughest conditions, as a breath-hold diver descends below the Greenland ice sheet to bear witness to the carcasses," Alex Mustard, Chair of the UPY Jury said. </p> <p>"The masterful composition invites me to consider our impact on the great creatures of this planet," he added. </p> <p>"Since the rise of humans, wild animals have declined by 85%. Today, just 4% of mammals are wildlife, the remaining 96% are humans and our livestock.</p> <p>"Our way needs to change to find a balance with nature." </p> <p>Lisa Stengel from the US won the title of Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2024, for her shot titled 'Window of Opportunity'. </p> <p>The photo captured the beauty of nature as a mahi attacks a swarm of fish, an action shot that captured "high speed hunting at the decisive moment."</p> <p>Nuno Sá from Portugal won the award for 'Save Our Seas Foundation' Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year 2024 for his work titled Saving Goliath. </p> <p>The photo showed dozens of sun seekers working together to try and save a stranded sperm whale off the beaches of Costa da Caparica. </p> <p>UK residents Jenny Stock won the title of British Underwater Photographer of the Year for her work  'Star Attraction' and Sandra Stalker won the title of Most Promising British Underwater Photographer 2024 for 'Midnight raver'. </p> <p><em>Images: UPY </em></p> <p> </p>

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The art of ‘getting lost’: how re-discovering your city can be an antidote to capitalism

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-dobson-1093706">Stephen Dobson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>Do you remember what it was like to discover the magic of a city for the first time? Do you remember the noises, smells, flashing lights and pulsating crowds? Or do you mostly remember cities through the screen of your phone?</p> <p>In 1967, French philosopher and filmmaker Guy Debord <a href="https://files.libcom.org/files/The%20Society%20of%20the%20Spectacle%20Annotated%20Edition.pdf">publicised the need</a> to move away from living our lives as bystanders continually tempted by the power of images. Today, we might see this in a young person flicking from one TikTok to the next – echoing the hold images have on us. But adults aren’t adverse to this window-shopping experience, either.</p> <p>Debord notes we have a tendency to observe rather than engage. And this is to our detriment. Continually topping-up our image consumption leaves no space for the unplanned – the reveries to break the pattern of an ordered life.</p> <p>Debord was a member of a group called the <a href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/Situationist-International">Situationist International</a>, dedicated to new ways we could reflect upon and experience our cities. Active for about 15 years, they believed we should experience our cities as an act of resistance, in direct opposition to the (profit-motivated) capitalistic structures that demand our attention and productivity every waking hour.</p> <p>More than 50 years since the group dissolved, the Situationists’ philosophy points us to a continued need to attune ourselves – through our thoughts and senses – to the world we live in. We might consider them as early eco-warriors. And through better understanding their philosophy, we can develop a new relationship with our cities today.</p> <h2>Understanding the ‘situation’</h2> <p>The Situationist International movement was <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt183p61x">formed</a> in 1957 in Cosio di Arroscia, Italy, and became active in several European countries. It brought together radical artists inspired by spontaneity, experimentalism, intellectualism, protest and hedonism. Central figures included Danish artist <a href="https://museumjorn.dk/en/">Asger Jorn</a>, French novelist <a href="https://mitpress.mit.edu/author/michele-bernstein-10219/">Michèle Bernstein</a> and Italian musician and composer <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Olmo">Walter Olmo</a>.</p> <p>The Situationists were driven by a <a href="https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/34141">libertarian form of Marxism</a> that resisted mass consumerism. One of the group’s early terms was “unitary urbanism”, which sought to join avant-garde art with the critique of mass production and technology. They rejected “urbanism’s” conventional emphasis on function, and instead thought about art and the environment as inexorably interrelated.</p> <p>By rebelling against the invasiveness of consumption, the Situationists proposed a turn towards artistically-inspired individuality and creativity.</p> <h2>Think on your own two feet</h2> <p>According to the 1960 <a href="https://hts3.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/situationist-international-manifesto.pdf">Situationist Manifesto</a> we are all to be artists of our own “situations”, crafting independent identities as we stand on our own two feet. They believed this could be achieved, in part, through “<a href="https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/p/psychogeography#:%7E:text=Psychogeography%20describes%20the%20effect%20of,emotions%20and%20behaviour%20of%20individuals">psychogeography</a>”: the idea that geographical locations exert a unique psychological effect on us.</p> <p>For instance, when you walk down a street, the architecture around you may be deliberately designed to encourage a certain kind of experience. Crossing a vibrant city square on a sunny morning evokes joy and a feeling of connection with others. There’s also usually a public event taking place.</p> <p>The Situationists valued drift, or <em>dérive</em> in French. This alludes to unplanned movement through a landscape during journeys on foot. By drifting aimlessly, we unintentionally redefine the traditional rules imposed by private or public land owners and property developers. We make ourselves open to the new unexpected and, in doing so, are liberated from the shackles of everyday routine.</p> <p>In <a href="https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-10-8100-2">our research</a>, my colleagues and I consider cities as places in which “getting lost” means exposing yourself to discovering the new and taken-for-granted.</p> <h2>Forge your own path</h2> <p>By understanding the Situationists – by looking away from our phones and allowing ourselves to get lost – we can rediscover our cities. We can see them for what they are beneath the blankets of posters, billboards and advertisements. How might we take back the image and make it work for us?</p> <p>The practise of geo-tagging images on social media, and sharing our location with others, could be considered close to the spirit of the Situationists. Although it’s often met with claims of <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/when-why-not-to-use-geotagging-overtourism-security">over-fuelling tourism</a> (especially regarding idyllic or otherwise protected sites), geo-tagging could <a href="https://www.melaninbasecamp.com/trip-reports/2019/5/1/five-reasons-why-you-should-keep-geotagging">inspire us</a> to actively seek out new places through visiting the source of an image.</p> <p>This could lead to culturally respectful engagement, and new-found respect for the rights of traditional custodians as we experience their lands in real life, rather than just through images on our phones.</p> <p>Then there are uniquely personal and anarchistic forms of resistance, wherein we can learn about the world around us by interweaving ourselves with our histories. In doing so we offer a new meaning to a historical message, and a new purpose. The Situationists called this process <em><a href="https://www.theartstory.org/movement/situationist-international/">détournement</a></em>, or hijacking.</p> <p>For instance, from my grandfather I inherited a biscuit tin of black and white photographs I believe were taken in the 1960s. They showed images of parks and wildlife, perhaps even of the same park, and cityscapes of London with people, streets and buildings.</p> <p>I have spent many hours wandering the London streets tracking down the exact places these images were snapped. I was juxtaposing past with present, and experiencing both continuity and change in the dialogues I had with my grandfather. In this way, I used images to augment (rather than replace) my lived experience of the material world.</p> <p>Urban art installations can also be examples of detournment as they make us re-think everyday conceptions. <a href="https://www.cityartsydney.com.au/artwork/forgotten-songs/">Forgotten Songs</a> by Michael Hill is one such example. A canopy of empty birdcages commemorates the songs of 50 different birds once heard in central Sydney, but which are now lost due to habitat removal as a result of urban development.</p> <p>There are also a number of groups, often with a strong environmental or civic rights focus, that partake in detournment. <a href="https://popularresistance.org/dancing-revolution-how-90s-protests-used-rave-culture-to-reclaim-the-streets/">Reclaim the Streets</a> is a movement with a long history in Australia. The group advocates for communities having ownership of and agency within public spaces. They may, for instance, “invade” a highway to throw a “<a href="https://pasttenseblog.files.wordpress.com/2022/02/road-rave.pdf">road rave</a>” as an act of reclamation.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bUL0C_T-Sqk?wmode=transparent&amp;start=999" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>As French avant-garde philosopher <a href="https://www.themarginalian.org/2014/07/24/the-poetics-of-reverie-gaston-bachelard/">Gaston Bachelard</a> might have put it, when we’re bombarded by images there is no space left to daydream. We lose the opportunity to explore and question the world capitalism serves us through images.</p> <p>Perhaps now is a good time to set down the phone and follow in the Situationists’ footsteps. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221606/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-dobson-1093706"><em>Stephen Dobson</em></a><em>, Professor and Dean of Education and the Arts, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-art-of-getting-lost-how-re-discovering-your-city-can-be-an-antidote-to-capitalism-221606">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Climate change is forcing Australians to weigh up relocating. How do they make that difficult decision?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justine-dandy-121273">Justine Dandy</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/zoe-leviston-823">Zoe Leviston</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/climate-whiplash-wild-swings-between-weather-extremes/">Big environmental changes</a> mean ever more Australians will confront the tough choice of whether to move home or risk staying put.</p> <p>Communities in the tropical north are <a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/three-aussie-towns-set-to-become-unliveable-due-to-extreme-heat/news-story/a96b36d1be5054d9fe3282ebf18c3431">losing residents</a> as these regions <a href="https://theconversation.com/study-finds-2-billion-people-will-struggle-to-survive-in-a-warming-world-and-these-parts-of-australia-are-most-vulnerable-205927">become hotter and more humid</a>. <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/weather-is-growing-more-extreme-the-pressure-is-on-the-bureau-of-meteorology-to-keep-up-20240111-p5ewms.html">Repeated floods</a> have communities along the east coast questioning their future. Others face <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-climate-change-is-bringing-bushfires-more-often-but-some-ecosystems-in-australia-are-suffering-the-most-211683">rising bushfire risks</a> that force them to weigh up the <a href="http://www.ohscareer.com.au/archived-news/bushfire-risk-for-those-who-move">difficult decision</a> to move home.</p> <p>However, the decision-making process and relocation opportunities are not the same for everyone. Factors such as socio-economic disadvantage and how we are attached to a place influence decisions to move or stay, where people go and how they experience their new location.</p> <p>Our research, working with other researchers at Edith Cowan University’s <a href="https://www.ecu.edu.au/schools/science/research/strategic-centres/centre-for-people-place-and-planet/overview">Centre for People, Place &amp; Planet</a> and Curtin University, seeks to document when and why people stay or go, and what this means for places and communities. In particular, our research suggests <em>who</em> is more likely to go may leave those who remain even more vulnerable.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oCeYJPwUaTg?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Darwin is already losing residents because of rising heat and humidity.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>We’ve been slow to adapt to increasing impacts</h2> <p>Climate change is global in scale and <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/syr/">has compounding effects</a>. It is increasing the frequency and intensity of disasters and extreme weather events such as heatwaves, fires, storms and floods. It is also accelerating environmental changes such as soil erosion, salinisation of waterways, loss of biodiversity, and land and water degradation.</p> <p>Both sudden disruptions and gradual pervasive decline <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-019-01463-1">have impacts</a> on the places where we live, work and play. So far, there has been <a href="https://thefifthestate.com.au/urbanism/climate-change-news/ahuri-rips-into-federal-government-inaction-on-helping-cities-adapt-to-climate-change/">little effective government action</a> to improve <a href="https://www.ahuri.edu.au/research/final-reports/411">climate change adaptation in Australia</a>.</p> <p>As we have seen in recent times in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/apr/09/land-swaps-relocations-or-rebuilds-lismore-community-grapples-with-its-future">Lismore</a>, New South Wales, and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-01-17/mooroopna-shepparton-flood-residents-consider-staying-or-leaving/103324882">northern Victoria</a>, for example, living in some flood-prone locations will become <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-23/flood-insurance-costing-30000-dollars-where-not-to-build/13268966">unaffordable due to insurance costs</a> or simply uninsurable.</p> <p>In other locations, different reasons will force residents to leave. It might be because environmental change threatens their livelihoods, or they can’t tolerate new conditions such as more long heatwaves or less reliable freshwater supplies. Others might not be able to endure the threat of another disaster.</p> <p>In sum, living in the place they called home will not be sustainable.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eqafq5UV5Iw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Repeated floods are forcing people in towns like Rochester in Victoria to contemplate whether they can afford to stay.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What factors affect the decision to stay or go?</h2> <p>Not everyone can relocate to cooler or safer places. Systemic inequalities mean some people are more at risk from environmental change and have <a href="https://wires.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/wcc.565">less capacity</a> to respond than others. These vulnerable people include children (both <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2024-01-25/climate-change-threatens-health-of-babies-in-utero/103362510">before and after birth</a>), women, older people, people on low incomes and/or with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other cultural and/or linguistic minorities.</p> <p>In addition, housing is more affordable in areas that are hotter or flood-prone. This makes it more likely to be owned or rented by people with fewer financial resources, compounding their disadvantage.</p> <p>For First Nations peoples and communities, connections to and responsibilities for places (Country) are intimately intertwined with identity. For them, the <a href="https://www.cell.com/one-earth/pdf/S2590-3322(20)30250-5.pdf">impacts of climate change</a>, colonisation and resettlement interact, further complicating the question of relocation.</p> <p><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-019-01463-1">Place attachment</a> – the emotional bond between people and their environment – might suppress the urge to move. But environmental change might fundamentally alter the characteristics that make a place unique. What we once loved and enjoyed <a href="https://wires.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/wcc.476">has then disappeared</a>.</p> <p>This sort of change <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277953612003255">impacts human health</a> and results in feelings of <a href="https://www.cell.com/one-earth/pdf/S2590-3322(20)30250-5.pdf">loss and grief</a>. It can prompt people to decide to leave.</p> <h2>So who stays and who leaves?</h2> <p>In our <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666623523000028#sec0014">research</a>, we found that when residents imagined the loss of what they valued about Perth’s environment this significantly increased their intentions to move away and significantly decreased place attachment. They nominated bushland, beaches, fauna and flora, and the climate/weather as characteristics they valued and feared changing or losing as climate change progressed.</p> <p>One study participant wrote: "It would be hotter and much more unpleasant in summer. I would miss the trees, plants and birds. I would hate living in a concrete jungle without the green spaces we have here. I would miss being able to cycle or walk to the local lakes to connect to nature and feel peaceful."</p> <p>But social factors matter too. We found people who valued characteristics of Perth such as social relationships and lifestyle were more likely to stay as they tended to have less reduction in their place attachment.</p> <p>We also found place attachment was associated with people acting to protect that place, such as protesting environmentally destructive policies. Yet people who were more likely to take such actions were also <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-019-01463-1">more likely to leave</a>.</p> <p>This could make the remaining community more vulnerable to further unwanted change. That’s because those who can afford to relocate are usually the ones with the resources – psychological, social, political and financial – to take action to protect their homes, neighbourhoods and cities.</p> <h2>Proper planning for adaptation is long overdue</h2> <p>Climate change impacts everyone. It causes significant economic and non-economic losses for both individuals and communities.</p> <p>Many locations are becoming unliveable. A changing climate and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-21/dark-roofs-raising-the-heat-in-australian-new-suburbs/102990304">inappropriately built or located housing</a> interact to create conditions where some people can or should no longer stay.</p> <p>Some will be prompted or forced to move, but not everyone has that capacity. Furthermore, relocation pressures have environmental, infrastructure and social <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/syr/">consequences for the places to which they move</a>.</p> <p>The housing crisis in Australia adds to resource constraints and their impacts for individuals and communities. Relocating can also disrupt psychological, emotional, social and cultural connections that are crucial for people’s wellbeing.</p> <p>We need co-ordinated, well-governed, long-term planning for people to move in the face of environmental change to ensure equitable and positive transitions for individuals and communities.</p> <hr /> <p><em>The authors wish to acknowledge the following contributors to this research: Professor Pierre Horwitz and Dr Naomi Godden (Centre for People, Place &amp; Planet, ECU), Dr Deirdre Drake (School of Arts and Humanities, ECU) and Dr Francesca Perugia (School of Design and the Built Environment, Curtin University).</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221971/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justine-dandy-121273">J<em>ustine Dandy</em></a><em>, Associate Professor, Centre for People, Place &amp; Planet, and School of Arts and Humanities, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/zoe-leviston-823">Zoe Leviston</a>, Research Fellow, College of Health and Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: </em><em>Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-forcing-australians-to-weigh-up-relocating-how-do-they-make-that-difficult-decision-221971">original article</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Health

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How people get sucked into misinformation rabbit holes – and how to get them out

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-booth-715018">Emily Booth</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marian-andrei-rizoiu-850922">Marian-Andrei Rizoiu</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p>As misinformation and radicalisation rise, it’s tempting to look for something to blame: the internet, social media personalities, sensationalised political campaigns, religion, or conspiracy theories. And once we’ve settled on a cause, solutions usually follow: do more fact-checking, regulate advertising, ban YouTubers deemed to have “gone too far”.</p> <p>However, if these strategies were the whole answer, we should already be seeing a decrease in people being drawn into fringe communities and beliefs, and less misinformation in the online environment. We’re not.</p> <p>In new research <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/14407833241231756">published in the Journal of Sociology</a>, we and our colleagues found radicalisation is a process of increasingly intense stages, and only a small number of people progress to the point where they commit violent acts.</p> <p>Our work shows the misinformation radicalisation process is a pathway driven by human emotions rather than the information itself – and this understanding may be a first step in finding solutions.</p> <h2>A feeling of control</h2> <p>We analysed dozens of public statements from newspapers and online in which former radicalised people described their experiences. We identified different levels of intensity in misinformation and its online communities, associated with common recurring behaviours.</p> <p>In the early stages, we found people either encountered misinformation about an anxiety-inducing topic through algorithms or friends, or they went looking for an explanation for something that gave them a “bad feeling”.</p> <p>Regardless, they often reported finding the same things: a new sense of certainty, a new community they could talk to, and feeling they had regained some control of their lives.</p> <p>Once people reached the middle stages of our proposed radicalisation pathway, we considered them to be invested in the new community, its goals, and its values.</p> <h2>Growing intensity</h2> <p>It was during these more intense stages that people began to report more negative impacts on their own lives. This could include the loss of friends and family, health issues caused by too much time spent on screens and too little sleep, and feelings of stress and paranoia. To soothe these pains, they turned again to their fringe communities for support.</p> <p>Most people in our dataset didn’t progress past these middle stages. However, their continued activity in these spaces kept the misinformation ecosystem alive.</p> <p>When people did move further and reach the extreme final stages in our model, they were doing active harm.</p> <p>In their recounting of their experiences at these high levels of intensity, individuals spoke of choosing to break ties with loved ones, participating in public acts of disruption and, in some cases, engaging in violence against other people in the name of their cause.</p> <p>Once people reached this stage, it took pretty strong interventions to get them out of it. The challenge, then, is how to intervene safely and effectively when people are in the earlier stages of being drawn into a fringe community.</p> <h2>Respond with empathy, not shame</h2> <p>We have a few suggestions. For people who are still in the earlier stages, friends and trusted advisers, like a doctor or a nurse, can have a big impact by simply responding with empathy.</p> <p>If a loved one starts voicing possible fringe views, like a fear of vaccines, or animosity against women or other marginalised groups, a calm response that seeks to understand the person’s underlying concern can go a long way.</p> <p>The worst response is one that might leave them feeling ashamed or upset. It may drive them back to their fringe community and accelerate their radicalisation.</p> <p>Even if the person’s views intensify, maintaining your connection with them can turn you into a lifeline that will see them get out sooner rather than later.</p> <p>Once people reached the middle stages, we found third-party online content – not produced by government, but regular users – could reach people without backfiring. Considering that many people in our research sample had their radicalisation instigated by social media, we also suggest the private companies behind such platforms should be held responsible for the effects of their automated tools on society.</p> <p>By the middle stages, arguments on the basis of logic or fact are ineffective. It doesn’t matter whether they are delivered by a friend, a news anchor, or a platform-affiliated fact-checking tool.</p> <p>At the most extreme final stages, we found that only heavy-handed interventions worked, such as family members forcibly hospitalising their radicalised relative, or individuals undergoing government-supported deradicalisation programs.</p> <h2>How not to be radicalised</h2> <p>After all this, you might be wondering: how do you protect <em>yourself</em> from being radicalised?</p> <p>As much of society becomes more dependent on digital technologies, we’re going to get exposed to even more misinformation, and our world is likely going to get smaller through online echo chambers.</p> <p>One strategy is to foster your critical thinking skills by <a href="https://www.cell.com/trends/cognitive-sciences/abstract/S1364-6613(23)00198-5">reading long-form texts from paper books</a>.</p> <p>Another is to protect yourself from the emotional manipulation of platform algorithms by <a href="https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/10.1521/jscp.2018.37.10.751">limiting your social media use</a> to small, infrequent, purposefully-directed pockets of time.</p> <p>And a third is to sustain connections with other humans, and lead a more analogue life – which has other benefits as well.</p> <p>So in short: log off, read a book, and spend time with people you care about. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223717/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-booth-715018">Emily Booth</a>, Research assistant, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marian-andrei-rizoiu-850922">Marian-Andrei Rizoiu</a>, Associate Professor in Behavioral Data Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-people-get-sucked-into-misinformation-rabbit-holes-and-how-to-get-them-out-223717">original article</a>.</em></p>

Mind

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Popular TV host diagnosed with same condition as Bruce Willis

<p>Popular American TV host Wendy Williams has shared her diagnosis after being plagued by "hurtful rumours". </p> <p>The 59-year-old's medical team announced in a lengthy statement that she has been diagnosed with aphasia and frontotemporal dementia: the same conditions actor Bruce Willis is battling.</p> <p>The news comes after Williams' family confirmed she had checked in to a facility to treat cognitive issues.</p> <p>“Questions have been raised at times about Wendy’s ability to process information and many have speculated about Wendy’s condition, particularly when she began to lose words, act erratically at times, and have difficulty understanding financial transactions,” her medical team said.</p> <p>They said Williams' symptoms first began in 2023, and was diagnosed with the neurological conditions just weeks later after undergoing a series of tests. </p> <p>Her team said both conditions have “already presented significant hurdles in Wendy’s life”.</p> <p>“Wendy would not have received confirmation of these diagnoses were it not for the diligence of her current care team, who she chose, and the extraordinary work of the specialists at Weill Cornell Medicine,” they said.</p> <p>“Receiving a diagnosis has enabled Wendy to receive the medical care she requires.”</p> <p>Williams chose to share the news to “advocate for understanding” and to “raise awareness” for the difficult conditions. </p> <p>“Unfortunately, many individuals diagnosed with aphasia and frontotemporal dementia face stigma and misunderstanding, particularly when they begin to exhibit behavioural changes but have not yet received a diagnosis,” her team said.</p> <p>“There is hope that with early detection and far more empathy, the stigma associated with dementia will be eliminated, and those affected will receive the understanding, support, and care they deserve and need."</p> <p>“Wendy is still able to do many things for herself. Most importantly she maintains her trademark sense of humour and is receiving the care she requires to make sure she is protected and that her needs are addressed."</p> <p>“She is appreciative of the many kind thoughts and good wishes being sent her way.”</p> <p>The TV presenter has previously been open with her medical battle with Graves’ disease and lymphedema, as well as other significant challenges related to her health.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Caring

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"What a life I’ve had": Author announces own death after years of battling dementia

<p>Wendy Mitchell has died aged 68 after documenting her brave battle with dementia. </p> <p>The author from Walkington, East Yorkshire, became the best-selling writer after she was diagnosed with early onset vascular dementia and Alzheimer's in July 2014. </p> <p>She shared her philosophical outlook on living with the condition in her acclaimed 2018 memoir <em>Somebody I Used To Know </em>and in her 2022 book <em>What I Wish I Knew About Dementia</em>.</p> <p>In an <a href="https://whichmeamitoday.wordpress.com/2024/02/22/my-final-hug-in-a-mug/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">open letter</a> shared online, the author announced her death and revealed that she had refused to eat or drink towards the end of her battle. </p> <p>"If you’re reading this, it means this has probably been posted by my daughters as I’ve sadly died," she began. </p> <p>"Sorry to break the news to you this way, but if I hadn’t, my inbox would eventually have been full of emails asking if I’m OK, which would have been hard for my daughters to answer… </p> <p>"In the end I died simply by deciding not to eat or drink any more," she wrote. </p> <p>She added that the last cup of tea she had, her "final hug in a mug" was "the hardest thing to let go of". </p> <p>"Dementia is a cruel disease that plays tricks on your very existence. I’ve always been a glass half full person, trying to turn the negatives of life around and creating positives, because that’s how I cope." </p> <p>Mitchell said that the language used by doctors can "make or break" how someone copes with dementia, and instead of saying there's "nothing they can do" it is better to tell them they will have to "adapt to a new way of living". </p> <p>"Well I suppose dementia was the ultimate challenge. Yes, dementia is a bummer, but oh what a life I’ve had playing games with this adversary of mine to try and stay one step ahead," she wrote in her final blog post. </p> <p>She also said that she had always been resilient, which has helped her cope with whatever life throws in her way. </p> <p>Mitchell has been an advocate for assisted dying in the UK, and said that "the only legal choice we shouldn’t have in life is when to be born; for everything else, we, as humans, should have a choice; a choice of how we live and a choice of how we die." </p> <p>She added that the way she died was an active choice as she doesn't want "to be an inpatient in a hospital, or a resident in a Care Home," as "it’s just not the place I want to end my years."</p> <p>"My girls have always been the two most important people in my life. I didn’t take this decision lightly, without countless conversations. They were the hardest conversations I’ve ever had to put them through. </p> <p>"This was all MY CHOICE, my decision. So please respect my daughters' privacy, as they didn’t choose the life I chose, of standing up to and speaking out against dementia." </p> <p>She then thanked everyone for their support and left with a touching final message. </p> <p>"So, enjoy this knowing that dementia didn’t play the winning card – I did."</p> <p><em>Images: Daily Mail</em></p>

Caring

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Major development in search for Samantha Murphy

<p>Police are moving to a different search area around 5km away from where Samantha Murphy was last seen, after receiving new information from her mobile data. They now believe that “one or more parties” were involved in her disappearance. </p> <p>The Ballarat mum was last seen leaving her home at 7am on February 4 for her usual morning run. </p> <p>On Friday, detectives from the Missing Persons Squad will lead a targeted search of the Mount Clear area, which is adjacent to the Canadian State Forest where Murphy was known to frequent, as part of their investigation.</p> <p>The search will focus on an area “highlighted by intelligence derived from phone data”.</p> <p>Despite missing for almost three weeks now, police still insist that they did not believe Murphy;'s disappearance was “sinister”, but have now confirmed that she went missing under suspicious circumstances.</p> <p>“Police are treating her disappearance as suspicious due to the length of time she has been missing and given no trace of her has been found,” police said.</p> <p>Detective Acting Superintendent Mark Hatt said that while police are keeping an open mind about what happened to Murphy they have ruled out any type of medical incident as there was nothing to indicate that she left on her own accord. </p> <p>"We are keeping an open mind, but believe the most likely scenario is that her disappearance involves one or more parties," Detective Acting Superintendent Hatt said.</p> <p>“Since Samantha’s disappearance almost three weeks ago, a significant search and investigation has been undertaken in an effort to find her,” he added.</p> <p>“I know that a lot of people, particularly those who live in the local Ballarat community, are extremely concerned about the fact we haven’t yet located Samantha or who may be responsible for her disappearance.</p> <p>“I want to reassure those members of the public that Victoria Police is doing everything we can to find out what has happened and provide some answers to Samantha’s family and the broader community.”</p> <p>Investigators are currently reviewing about 12,000 hours of CCTV footage and following up on over 500 pieces of information. </p> <p>On Thursday, police announced that they have called in additional detectives from <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/new-development-in-search-for-samantha-murphy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">specialist units</a> to help with the search.</p> <p>They are also asking residents in the Ballarat East and Mount Helen areas particularly around the Canadian Forest to check their CCTV footage for any relevant information. </p> <p>“I encourage anyone who does have information that could be relevant to this investigation — whether that’s a person or vehicle seen in the area on that day, something unusual such as a damaged vehicle or property — to please come forward and speak to police or provide the information via Crime Stoppers,” Hatt said.</p> <p>“Police remain open to any and all possibilities, so if you know something or have seen something, then we want to hear from you.”</p> <p><em>Images: 7NEWs</em></p>

Caring

Lifestyle

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Pink's sweet surprise for young fan's birthday

<p>Pink has continued to spread the love during her Australian tour. </p> <p>The <em>So What </em>singer surprised a young fan backstage at her Melbourne show Thursday night, with the sweet moment captured on camera. </p> <p>11-year-old Molly received an unforgettable gift as Pink personally sang <em>Happy Birthday</em> to her and gave her a birthday cake. </p> <p>Chris Hemsworth’s wife, Elsa Pataky filmed and shared the sweet moment on Instagram with the caption: “Girls night to go see Pink in concert. You are amazing. Thanks for making Molly feel so special on her birthday." </p> <p>Pataky attended the Melbourne show with her 11-year-old daughter, India Rose, and a group of their friends, including Molly.</p> <p>Fans flooded the comments with praise for the megastar, who has repeatedly made an effort to spend quality time with her fans despite her busy schedule. </p> <p>“OMG. Can Pink be more wonderful? How can you not love her?,” one wrote </p> <p>“How special,” another wrote, while a third added, “Pink is the best.”</p> <p>"Pink!!!!! I can’t explain how much I love that woman," a fourth wrote. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3pmf8pPhG8/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3pmf8pPhG8/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Elsa Pataky (@elsapataky)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Pink has prioritised her fans time and time again. During her show in Brisbane on the 17th of February, she carved time out from her Aussie tour to meet six-year-old Brisbane girl Lillian Harris, who was born with a terminal heart condition. </p> <p>She spent one-on-one time with one of her biggest fans and presented her with a bunch of gifts. </p> <p>“Hi babe! You look so good in that shirt,” she said to Lillian in a video uploaded to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/reel/1833085993806124" target="_blank" rel="noopener">social media</a>.</p> <p>“I’m really happy that you’re here, and I’m happy to meet you.”</p> <p>She even dedicated Lilian's favourite song <em>What About Us</em>, to the six-year-old during her performance at at Suncorp Stadium. </p> <p>Fans also praised Pink then for being "such a fabulous woman.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

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Woman’s outrageous act to catch cheating partner

<p dir="ltr">A woman has issued a desperate plea online for someone to help her catch her cheating boyfriend in the act. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Sydney woman, named Ariana, listed a job on the site Airtasker for someone to drive her to the suburb of Five Dock to catch her boyfriend, who she suspected was having an affair. </p> <p dir="ltr">She asked the potential driver to sit with her in the car for a few hours, in exchange for $350. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I need someone to drive me and a friend to Five Dock and sit in the car with us for a few hours so I can try and catch my cheating boyfriend,” she wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">The ad, which was posted just before Valentine’s Day, quickly went viral and received mixed reactions. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The way I would do this for free,” one person said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Wow, who would've thought of putting it on Airtasker! This is genius,” another wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, some people didn't see the point of going through so much trouble and wasting $350. </p> <p dir="ltr">“This never makes sense to me - if you don't trust him, just leave. The relationship is dead regardless of if he is cheating,” a woman said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite garnering massive attention online, it is not known if Ariana’s stealthy operation was a success, or if she is still in a relationship with her boyfriend. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Facebook</em></p>

Relationships

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New development in search for Samantha Murphy

<p>Police have called in more than a dozen detectives from specialist units to assist the investigation into the disappearance of Samantha Murphy 18 days after she went missing. </p> <p>The mother-of-three was last seen leaving her Ballarat East home to go on her usual morning run in nearby bushland at around 7am on February 4. </p> <p>Now, The Missing Persons Squad, who is leading the investigation has been expanded to include detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command and Crime Command units.</p> <p>The detectives from these specialist units are “highly skilled” selected for their “experience in complex and protracted investigations”.</p> <p>Police have also clarified that the extra detectives have travelled to Ballarat because of their skills and experience rather than a terror or sex crime link. </p> <p>“We have not taken counter terrorism detectives because we think her disappearance is terrorism related,” police told the <em>Herald Sun</em>. </p> <p>Local community members are also doing whatever they can to help, and are conducting their own searches. </p> <p>The group of volunteers are all working together to find "any answers, any solution, any hints, any evidence that might be able to contribute towards bringing Sam home," local Cristie-Lea King told <em>A Current Affair</em> on Wednesday night. </p> <p>On Wednesday, community-members also banded together to fly in an <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/experienced-bush-tracker-to-join-in-search-for-samantha-murphy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">experienced bush tracker </a>to help them and share his expertise ahead of the community-led search on Saturday.</p> <p>“I’m hoping to get a lot done while I’m here,” he told 7News at the time. </p> <p>“I plan on training up some locals in the fundamentals of tracking, so when I leave I can continue to liaise with those on the ground." </p> <p>“People are entitled to their opinions as to whether or not Samantha is out in the bush.</p> <p>“On the chance that she is, I want to ensure that absolutely everything is done to find her.”</p> <p><em>Images: Victoria Police</em></p>

Family & Pets

Finance

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"Pretty brutal": Peter Garrett slams Taylor Swift for price gouging tickets

<p>Peter Garrett has taken aim at Taylor Swift, calling out her extrationate ticket prices for a place at the Eras Tour. </p> <p>The Midnight Oil frontman  joined <em>107.1 SAFM’s Bec & Soda</em> radio show on Friday when he was informed that he was co-host Mark “Soda” Soderstrom’s favourite artist, or in other words, “his Taylor Swift.”</p> <p>Garrett didn't take too kindly to the comparison, and launched into a rant about the price of Swift's concert tickets. </p> <p>“I’m not price gouging like Taylor, to be blunt,” he began.</p> <p>The radio hosts reminisced about attending a Midnight Oil concert in 1985 when tickets were just $15.90, compared to Swifts forking out hundreds of dollars for the highly anticipated Eras Tour. </p> <p>Tickets for Swift’s Australian tour ranged from $79.90 for G-reserve tickets to $379.90 for A-reserve ticket, while also offering fans multiple VIP packages, reaching an eye-watering $1249.90 for a single ticket. </p> <p>Some diehard fans were quick to complain about the lack of added value in the packages, which included premium seats with add-ons such as a tote bags, collectable pins, stickers and postcards.</p> <p>Garrett continued, “I wouldn’t begrudge anyone’s success, that’s the first thing to say."</p> <p>"She’s obviously touching a chord with masses of people, particularly people of a certain age group who have experienced growing up at a certain time, and what she’s singing and talking about is really ringing true with them.” </p> <p>However, he also said that “the dollar end of it having looked at it from a distance, having been in this business forever, is pretty brutal.”</p> <p>Garrett continued to share his disapproval of Swift's Australian domination, complaining about how five of her albums dominated the ARIA charts, booting Aussie artists off the ladder. </p> <p>“She is so pervasive, she has become such a phenomenon, that she is displacing artists left right and centre. In our ARIA top 100 chart – that’s the Australian record industry chart – I think at one point in the last week or two, we only had three Australian artists in that top 100,” Garrett said. </p> <p>“Not good enough! And that’s not me crying about it, I’ve had an incredible run. But I think about the younger artists coming through and it’s extremely hard for them now.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Big W customer gobsmacked over $4000 shipping fee

<p>A Big W customer was only trying to buy an outdoor play set for her kids but got the shock of her life when she saw the "ridiculous" shipping fee that was over three times the cost of the play set. </p> <p>The Singleton mum had added the $1,200 item to her cart while shopping online and was about to check out when she was greeted with a $4,466 shipping fee. </p> <p>"How in God's name can they charge $4,466 for delivery! Big W are slowly losing my vote!" the outraged mum wrote on Facebook, even swearing off the department store for the apparent money grab. </p> <p>According to the Big W website, the play set is sent via Plum Play, a "trusted partner", and not by Big W stores, and because the woman lives in a rural area, she initially believed that was the reason for the extortionate shipping costs. </p> <p>A few other shoppers criticised the high fee. </p> <p>"That is fricken ridiculous!!!! No one would pay that," one said. </p> <p>"Jesus, are you ordering a few pallets of bricks? No way normal merchandise would cost that much to send," another wrote. </p> <p>A few others questioned the weight of the item and where she lived, while others tried to buy the same item and got even higher shipping fees. </p> <p>"It jumped a few grand for a couple of ks for me," one wrote, with the cost of standard delivery for the play set at $7,858. </p> <p>Some reported fees of up to $50,000, but most were $7,000 to $10,000. </p> <p>The department store has addressed the issue and told <em>Yahoo News Australia</em> that an "error on the website" was to blame. </p> <p>They have since corrected the delivery charges which should have been about $100 for the woman's location. </p> <p>"We were made aware of a delivery calculation error on our website which has since been resolved. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused," a spokesperson told the publication. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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The secret sauce of Coles’ and Woolworths’ profits: high-tech surveillance and control

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-kate-kelly-1262424">Lauren Kate Kelly</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063"><em>RMIT University</em></a></em></p> <p>Coles and Woolworths, the supermarket chains that together control <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-20/woolworths-coles-supermarket-tactics-grocery-four-corners/103405054">almost two-thirds</a> of the Australian grocery market, are facing unprecedented scrutiny.</p> <p>One recent inquiry, commissioned by the Australian Council of Trade Unions and led by former Australian Consumer and Competition Commission chair Allan Fels, found the pair engaged in unfair pricing practices; an ongoing <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Supermarket_Prices/SupermarketPrices">Senate inquiry into food prices</a> is looking at how these practices are linked to inflation; and the ACCC has just begun <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/inquiries-and-consultations/supermarkets-inquiry-2024-25">a government-directed inquiry</a> into potentially anti-competitive behaviour in Australia’s supermarkets.</p> <p>Earlier this week, the two companies also came under the gaze of the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-19/super-power-the-cost-of-living-with-coles-and-woolworths/103486508">ABC current affairs program Four Corners</a>. Their respective chief executives each gave somewhat prickly interviews, and Woolworths chief Brad Banducci <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-21/woolworths-ceo-brad-banducci-retirement-four-corners/103493418">announced his retirement</a> two days after the program aired.</p> <p>A focus on the power of the supermarket duopoly is long overdue. However, one aspect of how Coles and Woolworths exercise their power has received relatively little attention: a growing high-tech infrastructure of surveillance and control that pervades retail stores, warehouses, delivery systems and beyond.</p> <h2>Every customer a potential thief</h2> <p>As the largest private-sector employers and providers of essential household goods, the supermarkets play an outsized role in public life. Indeed, they are such familiar places that technological developments there may fly under the radar of public attention.</p> <p>Coles and Woolworths are both implementing technologies that treat the supermarket as a “problem space” in which workers are controlled, customers are tracked and profits boosted.</p> <p>For example, in response to a purported spike in shoplifting, a raft of customer surveillance measures have been introduced that treat every customer as a potential thief. This includes <a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/eat/coles-introducing-new-technology-which-will-track-shoppers-every-move/news-story/86ea8d330f76df87f2235eeda4d1136e">ceiling cameras</a> which assign a digital ID to individuals and track them through the store, and <a href="https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/finance/consumer/2023/08/16/smart-gate-technology">“smart” exit gates</a> that remain closed until a purchase is made. Some customers have reported being “<a href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/coles-supermarketshoppers-dramatic-checkout-experience-goes-viral-i-was-trapped-c-12977760">trapped</a>” by the gate despite paying for their items, causing significant embarrassment.</p> <p>At least one Woolworths store has <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/woolies-in-wetherill-park-fitted-with-500-tiny-cameras-to-monitor-stock-levels/news-story/585de8c741ae9f520adcc4005f2a736a">installed 500 mini cameras</a> on product shelves. The cameras monitor real-time stock levels, and Woolworths says customers captured in photos will be silhouetted for privacy.</p> <p>A Woolworths spokesperson <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/up-to-70-cameras-watch-you-buy-groceries-what-happens-to-that-footage-20230819-p5dxtp.html">explained</a> the shelf cameras were part of “a number of initiatives, both covert and overt, to minimise instances of retail crime”. It is unclear whether the cameras are for inventory management, surveillance, or both.</p> <p>Workers themselves are being fitted with body-worn cameras and wearable alarms. Such measures may protect against customer aggression, which is a <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-22/retail-union-staff-abuse-cost-of-living-christmas/103117014">serious problem facing workers</a>. Biometric data collected this way could also be used to discipline staff in what scholars Karen Levy and Solon Barocas refer to as “<a href="https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/7041">refractive surveillance</a>” – a process whereby surveillance measures intended for one group can also impact another.</p> <h2>Predicting crime</h2> <p>At the same time as the supermarkets ramp up the amount of data they collect on staff and shoppers, they are also investing in data-driven “crime intelligence” software. Both supermarkets have <a href="https://www.smartcompany.com.au/industries/information-technology/grocery-chains-surveillance-tech-auror/">partnered with New Zealand start-up Auror</a>, which shares a name with the magic police from the Harry Potter books and claims it can predict crime before it happens.</p> <p>Coles also recently began a partnership with Palantir, a global data-driven surveillance company that takes its name from magical crystal balls in The Lord of the Rings.</p> <p>These heavy-handed measures seek to make self-service checkouts more secure without increasing staff numbers. This leads to something of a vicious cycle, as under-staffing, self-checkouts, and high prices are often <a href="https://www.aap.com.au/news/retail-workers-facing-increased-violence-and-abuse/">causes of customer aggression</a> to begin with.</p> <p>Many staff are similarly frustrated by <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jun/05/coles-woolworths-court-accused-of-underpaying-workers">historical wage theft by the supermarkets</a> that totals hundreds of millions of dollars.</p> <h2>From community employment to gig work</h2> <p>Both supermarkets have brought the gig economy squarely <a href="https://theconversation.com/coles-uber-eats-deal-brings-the-gig-economy-inside-the-traditional-workplace-204353">inside the traditional workplace</a>. Uber and Doordash drivers are now part of the infrastructure of home delivery, in an attempt to push last-mile delivery costs onto gig workers.</p> <p>The precarious working conditions of the gig economy are well known. Customers may not be aware, however, that Coles recently increased Uber Eats and Doordash prices by at least 10%, and will <a href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/shoppers-slam-coles-over-major-change-to-half-price-buys-that-will-affect-millions-c-12860556">no longer match in-store promotions</a>. Drivers have been instructed to dispose of the shopping receipt and should no longer place it in the customer’s bag at drop-off.</p> <p>In addition to higher prices, customers also pay service and delivery fees for the convenience of on-demand delivery. Despite the price increases to customers, drivers I have interviewed in my ongoing research report they are earning less and less through the apps, often well below Australia’s minimum wage.</p> <p>Viewed as a whole, Coles’ and Woolworths’ high-tech measures paint a picture of surveillance and control that exerts pressures on both customers and workers. While issues of market competition, price gouging, and power asymmetries with suppliers must be scrutinised, issues of worker and customer surveillance are the other side of the same coin – and they too must be reckoned with.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/224076/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-kate-kelly-1262424"><em>Lauren Kate Kelly</em></a><em>, PhD Candidate, ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-secret-sauce-of-coles-and-woolworths-profits-high-tech-surveillance-and-control-224076">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Police officer sought in connection to disappearance of two men

<p>A NSW police officer is sought in connection to the suspicious disappearance of two men, who haven't been heard from since Monday. </p> <p>Former Studio 10 host Jesse Baird and his boyfriend Luke Davies were last seen four days ago, with police launching an investigation into their disappearance. </p> <p>A number of their personal items, including a watch, clothes, credit cards and keys were found by a worker in Club Cronulla, with blood stains present on the items. </p> <p>Police have also searched two homes during their investigation - one in Balmain and one in Paddington - with officers "immediately" establishing a crime scene at the Paddington home after finding blood spatters. </p> <p>According to officers, a “significant” amount of blood consistent with a fatality and signs of a struggle were discovered inside Mr Baird’s Paddington home on Thursday afternoon. </p> <p>More personal items belonging to the couple were recovered from a skip bin 20 kilometres from the home in question. </p> <p>Police have called for Constable Beau Lamarre to come forward as part of their investigation, who is the ex-boyfriend of one of the men. </p> <p>Friends of Baird have revealed he previously expressed concerns he was being stalked by another man.</p> <p>Police confirmed on Thursday they wanted to speak to Constable Lamarre in relation to the case and were desperately trying to reach him.</p> <p>"Following inquiries, detectives are looking at a line of inquiry that a third person may be able to assist with the investigation," NSW Police said, in a statement.</p> <p>"Police are currently trying to locate him."</p> <p>Police have not said that the officer was involved in the disappearance, only that they would like to speak to him, as no arrest warrant has been issued.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Legal

Entertainment

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Russell Crowe unveils new look not seen in over 20 years

<p>Russell Crowe, the man of many faces – literally, his beard has its own postcode – is making headlines again. Not for his stellar performances or his knack for embodying iconic characters, but for something far more groundbreaking: he shaved.</p> <p>Yes, you read that right. Russell Crowe has gone from grizzly lumberjack chic to smooth operator in what can only be described as a follicular metamorphosis of epic proportions.</p> <p>In a tweet that shook the internet harder than a magnitude 9 earthquake, Crowe proudly announced, "The actor prepares #20. First shave since 2019".</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The actor prepares #20.<br />First shave since 2019. <a href="https://t.co/e48ctxh9GY">pic.twitter.com/e48ctxh9GY</a></p> <p>— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) <a href="https://twitter.com/russellcrowe/status/1759500781642780929?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 19, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>Now, to put this into perspective, in 2019 we were all living in a blissful ignorance of the chaos that awaited us in the years to come. So, the fact that Russell Crowe has finally decided to bid farewell to his facial foliage is nothing short of a miracle.</p> <p>In the accompanying photo, Crowe stares into the camera with the seriousness of a man who has just discovered a rare species of moth living in his beard. His face, now liberated from the tangled web of hair, appears decades younger, causing fans to collectively question if time travel is, in fact, possible.</p> <p>But let's not forget, this isn't Crowe's first rodeo with a clean-shaven face. Even though he cites "2019" in his caption, the last time he showcased such ephemeral smoothness was back in 2012 while promoting <em>Les Miserables –</em> a time when the world was still recovering from the shock of "Gangnam Style" and debating the colour of a certain pinstriped dress. So, it's safe to say, Crowe's clean-shaven look is rarer than a blue moon on a leap year.</p> <p>Of course, fans couldn't contain their excitement. One Twitter user exclaimed, "20 years younger instantly!" Another fan, probably needing a moment to catch their breath after witnessing the transformation, simply stated, "oh THERE you are". And let's not overlook the fan who eloquently remarked, "Looks good! It’s nice to change it up and shave. You have a nice face it was hiding behind all that hair." Ah, poetry in the age of social media.</p> <p>But what prompted this seismic shift in Crowe's appearance? Well, he didn't spill the beans on which movie role necessitated the razor, but we can only imagine the possibilities. Perhaps he's playing a time-travelling barber who inadvertently alters the course of history with each stroke of his razor. Or maybe he's set to star in a reboot of <em>The Santa Clause</em> as the titular character who decides to trade in his bushy beard for a more aerodynamic look. The possibilities are as endless as the hairs on Crowe's chin once were.</p> <p>Whatever the reason, one thing's for sure: Crowe's fresh shave has left an indelible mark on the internet. And as he gears up for roles in everything from historical dramas (he’s pegged to play Hermann Göring in the film <em>Nuremberg) </em>to MMA action flicks (such as <em>The Beast In Me</em>, which traces the life of a commercial fisherman who avenges his brother's death by fighting in a cage match)<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">, we can only hope that his newfound smoothness becomes a permanent fixture. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">After all, in a world of chaos and uncertainty, sometimes all it takes is a clean shave to restore our faith in humanity.</span></p> <p><em>Images: Poker Face / Twitter (X) </em></p>

Movies

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Experience the magic of Ireland down under: A Taste of Ireland 2024 Australian Tour

<p>Get ready to immerse yourself in the rich culture, captivating music and mesmerising dance of Ireland as <a href="https://www.atasteofirelandshow.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>A Taste of Ireland</em></a> returns to enchant audiences across Australia in 2024. </p> <p>Featuring World Champion dancers from <em>Lord of the Dance</em> and <em>Riverdance</em>, prepare to be transported to the rolling green hills and vibrant streets of the Emerald Isle, right in your hometown!  </p> <p><strong>What is <em>A Taste of Ireland</em>?</strong></p> <p><em>A Taste of Ireland</em> is not just a performance; it's an unforgettable journey through the heart and soul of Ireland. Combining traditional and contemporary Irish music and dance, this spectacular show showcases the incredible talent and passion of some of Ireland's finest performers.</p> <p><strong>What to expect</strong></p> <p>From the moment the first note is struck, and the first step is danced, you'll be captivated by the energy and artistry on stage. Feel the rhythm of the bodhrán drum reverberate through your bones, and let the fiddles whisk you away to a land of ancient myths and legends.</p> <p>Prepare to be dazzled by the lightning-fast footwork and intricate choreography of the dancers as they weave tales of love, loss and triumph through their movements. Each step tells a story, each leap a celebration of life itself.</p> <p><strong>Why attend?</strong></p> <p>Whether you're a die-hard fan of Irish culture or simply looking for a night of entertainment unlike any other, <em>A Taste of Ireland</em> offers something for everyone. It's an opportunity to witness the magic of Ireland's rich heritage brought to life before your very eyes.</p> <p>Forget your troubles for an evening and let the music and dance sweep you away on a journey you won't soon forget. Whether you're tapping your feet to the lively jigs and reels or wiping away tears during a poignant ballad, <em>A Taste of Ireland</em> is an experience that will touch your heart and soul.</p> <p><strong>Tour dates and locations</strong></p> <p>The 2024 Australian Tour of <em>A Taste of Ireland</em> will be making stops across Australia for 80 shows from March to July, bringing the magic of Ireland to a venue near you. <a href="https://www.atasteofirelandshow.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Check the tour schedule</a> to find out when this unforgettable experience will be coming to your area.</p> <p><strong>Get your tickets now!</strong></p> <p>Don't miss your chance to experience the beauty and excitement of <em>A Taste of Ireland</em>. Tickets are selling fast, so book yours today and get ready for a night of music, dance, and memories that will last a lifetime. </p> <p>Witness the show that has received rave reviews across the globe. Don't rely on the luck of the Irish – <a href="https://www.atasteofirelandshow.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">book now</a>, because tickets are selling out fast!</p> <p><em>Images: Supplied.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Pace Live.</em></p>

Music

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Should Taylor Swift be taught alongside Shakespeare? A professor of literature says yes

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liam-e-semler-1507004">Liam E Semler</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Does Taylor Swift’s music belong in the English classroom? No, obviously. We should teach the classics, like <a href="https://www.folger.edu/explore/shakespeares-works/shakespeares-sonnets/">Shakespeare’s Sonnets</a>. After all, they have stood the test of time. It’s 2024 and he was born in 1564, and she’s only 34. What’s more, she is a pop singer, not a poet. Sliding her into the classroom would be yet another example of a dumbed-down curriculum. It’s ridiculous. It makes everyone look bad.</p> <p>I’ve heard all that. And plenty more like it. But none of it is right. Well, the dates might be, but not the assumptions – about Shakespeare, about English, about teaching, and about Swift.</p> <p>Swift is, by the way, a poet. She sees herself this way and her songs bear her out. In Sweet Nothing, on the <a href="https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/taylor-swift-midnights/">Midnights</a> album, she sings:</p> <blockquote> <p>On the way home<br />I wrote a poem<br />You say “What a mind”<br />This happens all the time.</p> </blockquote> <p>I’m sure it does. Swift is relentlessly productive as a songwriter. With Midnights, she picked up <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2024/02/04/entertainment/taylor-swift-album-of-the-year-grammys/index.html">her fourth Grammy for Album of the Year</a>. And here we are, on the brink of another studio album, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tortured_Poets_Department">The Tortured Poets Department</a>, somehow written and produced amid the gargantuan success of Midnights and the Eras World Tour.</p> <h2>An ally of literature</h2> <p>Regardless of what The Tortured Poets Department ends up being about, Swift is already a firm ally of literature and reading. She is <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taylor-swift-donates-6000-books-to-library/">a donor of thousands of books</a> to public libraries in the United States, an advocate to schoolchildren of the importance of reading and songwriting, and a lover of the process of crafting lyrics.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnbCSboujF4">2016 Vogue interview</a>, Swift declared with glee that, if she were a teacher, she would teach English. The literary references in her songs are endlessly noted. “I love Shakespeare as much as the next girl,” she wrote in a <a href="https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/a26546099/taylor-swift-pop-music/">2019 article for Elle</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mdgKhdcQrNw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Her interview Read Every Day gives a good sense of this. Swift speaks about her writing process in ways that make it accessible. She explains how songs come to her anywhere and everywhere, like an idea randomly appearing “on a cloud” that becomes the first piece in a “puzzle” that will be assembled into a song. She furtively whisper-sings song ideas into her phone when out with friends.</p> <p>In her <a href="https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/news/read-taylor-swifts-full-nsai-songwriter-artist-of-the-decade-award-speech">acceptance speech for the Nashville Songwriter-Artist of the Decade Award</a> in 2022, Swift explained how she writes in three broad styles, imagining she is holding either a “quill”, a “fountain pen”, or a “glitter gel pen”. Songcraft is a joyous challenge for her.</p> <p>If, as teachers of literature, we are too proud to credit Swift’s plainly expressed love of English (regardless of whether we like her songs or not), we are likely missing something. To bluntly rule her out of the English classroom feels more absurd than allowing her in.</p> <p>Clio Doyle, a lecturer in early modern literature, has <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-taylor-swift-belongs-on-english-literature-degree-courses-219660">summarised</a> Swift’s suitability for English in a recent article which concludes:</p> <blockquote> <p>The important thing isn’t whether or not Swift might be the new Shakespeare. It’s that the discipline of English literature is flexible, capacious and open-minded. A class on reading Swift’s work as literature is just another English class, because every English class requires grappling with the idea of reading anything as literature. Even Shakespeare.</p> </blockquote> <p>Doyle reminds us Swift’s work has been taught at universities for a while now and, inevitably, the singer’s name keeps cropping up in relation to Shakespeare. This isn’t just a case of fandom gone wild or Shakespeare professors, like <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/why-taylor-swift-is-a-literary-giant-by-a-shakespeare-professor-20230518-p5d9cn.html">Jonathan Bate</a>, gone rogue.</p> <p>The global interest in the world-first academic <a href="https://swiftposium2024.com/">Swiftposium</a> is a good measure of how things are trending. Moreover, it is wrong to think Swift’s songs are included in units of study purely to be adored. Her wide appeal is part of her appeal to educators, but that doesn’t mean her art is uncritically included.</p> <p>The reverse is true. Claire Hansen <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/pop-star-philosopher-poet-taylor-swift-is-shaking-up-how-we-think-20240207-p5f342.html">taught Swift in one of her literature units at the Australian National University</a> last year precisely because this influential singer-songwriter prompts students to explore the boundaries of the canon.</p> <p>I will be teaching Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets together in a literature unit at the University of Sydney this semester. Why? Not because I think Swift is as good as Shakespeare, or because I think she is not as good as Shakespeare. These statements are fine as personal opinions, but unhelpful as blanket declarations without context. The nature of English as a discipline is far more complex, interesting and valuable than a labelling and ranking exercise.</p> <h2>Teaching Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets</h2> <p>I teach Shakespeare’s sonnets as exquisite poems, reflective of their time and culture. I also teach three modern artworks that shed contemporary light on the sonnets.</p> <p>The first is Jen Bervin’s 2004 book <a href="https://www.jenbervin.com/projects/nets">Nets</a>. Bervin prints a selection of the sonnets, one per page, in grey text. In each of these grey sonnets, some of Shakespeare’s words and phrases are printed in black and thus stand out boldly.</p> <p>The result is a <a href="https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/palimpsest">palimpsest</a>. The Shakespearean sonnet appears lying, like fertile soil, beneath the briefer poem that emerges from it. Bervin describes this technique as a stripping down of the sonnets to “nets” in order “to make the space of the poems open, porous, possible – a divergent elsewhere”. The creative relationship between the Shakespearean base and Bervin’s proverb-like poems proves that, as Bervin says, “when we write poems, the history of poetry is with us”.</p> <p>The second text is Luke Kennard’s prizewinning 2021 collection <a href="https://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/index.php/2021/04/notes-on-the-sonnets/">Notes on the Sonnets</a>. Kennard recasts the sonnets as a series of entertaining prose poems. Each poem responds to a specific Shakespearean sonnet, recasting it as the freewheeling thought bubble of a fictional attendee at an unappealing house party. In an interview with C.D. Rose, Kennard <a href="https://thequietus.com/articles/30078-luke-kennard-interview-the-answer-to-everything-notes-on-the-sonnets">explains</a> how his house party design puts the reader</p> <blockquote> <p>in between a public and private space, you’re at home and you’re out, you’re free, you’re enclosed. And that’s similar in the sonnets.</p> </blockquote> <p>The third text is Swift’s Midnights. Unlike Bervin’s and Kennard’s collections, in which individual pieces relate to specific sonnets, there is no explicit adaptation. Instead, Midnights raises broader themes.</p> <h2>Deep connection</h2> <p>In her Elle article, Swift describes songwriting as akin to photography. She strives to capture moments of lived experience:</p> <blockquote> <p>The fun challenge of writing a pop song is squeezing those evocative details into the catchiest melody you can possibly think of. I thrive on the challenge of sprinkling personal mementos and shreds of reality into a genre of music that is universally known for being, well, universal.</p> </blockquote> <p>Her point is that the pop songs that “cut through the most are actually the most detailed” in their snippets of reality and biography. She says “people are reaching out for connection and comfort” and “music lovers want some biographical glimpse into the world of our narrator, a hole in the emotional walls people put up around themselves to survive”.</p> <p>Midnights exemplifies this. It is a concept album built on the idea that midnight is a time for pursuit of and confrontation with the self – or better, the selves. Swift says the songs form “the full picture of the intensities of that mystifying, mad hour”.</p> <p>The album, she says, is “a journey through terrors and sweet dreams” for those “who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching – hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve […] we’ll meet ourselves”.<br />Swift claims that Midnights lets listeners in through her protective walls to enable deep connection:</p> <blockquote> <p>I really don’t think I’ve delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before. I struggle with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized and […] I just struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person.</p> </blockquote> <p>Midnights is not a sonnet collection, but it has fascinating parallels. There is no firm narrative through-line. Nor is there a through-line in early modern sonnet collections such as Shakespeare’s. Instead, both gather songs and poems that let us see aspects of the singing or speaking persona’s thoughts, emotions and experiences. Shakespeare’s speaker is also troubled through the night in sonnets 27, 43 and 61.</p> <p>The sonnets come in thematic clusters, pairs and mini-sequences. It can be interesting to ask students if they can see something similar in the order of songs on the Midnights album – or the “3am” edition with its seven extra tracks, or the “Til Dawn” edition with another three songs.</p> <p>Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, in their edition of <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/all-the-sonnets-of-shakespeare/AE1912C43BE4F50391B25B83C0C03B1F">All the Sonnets of Shakespeare</a>, say Shakespeare’s collection is “the most idiosyncratic gathering of sonnets in the period” because he “uses the sonnet form to work out his intimate thoughts and feelings”.</p> <p>This connects very well with the agenda of Midnights. Both collections are piecemeal psychic landscapes. The singing or speaking voice sometimes feels autobiographical – compare, for example, sonnets 23, 129, 135-6 and 145 to Swift’s songs Anti-hero, You’re On Your Own, Kid, Sweet Nothing, and Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve. At other times the voices feel less autobiographical. Often there is no way to distinguish one from the other.</p> <p>Swift’s songs and Shakespeare’s Sonnets are meditations on deeply personal aspects of their narrators’ experiences. They present us with encounters, memories, relationships, values and claims. Swift’s persona is that of a self-reflective singer, just as Shakespeare’s is that of a self-reflective sonneteer. Both focus on love in all its shades. Both present themselves as vulnerable to industry rivals and pressures. Both dwell on issues of power.</p> <h2>Close reading</h2> <p>Shakespeare’s sonnets are rewarding texts for close reading because of their poetic intricacy. Students can look at end rhymes and internal rhymes, the way the argument progresses through <a href="https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/quatrain">quatrains</a>, the positioning of the “turn”, which is often in line 9 or 13, and the way the final couplet wraps things up (or doesn’t).</p> <p>The songs on Midnights are also rewarding because Swift has a great vocabulary, a love of metaphor, terrific turns of phrase, and a strong sense of symmetry and balance in wording. More complex songs like Maroon and Question…? are great for detailed analysis.</p> <p>Karma and Mastermind are simpler, yet contain plenty of metaphoric language to be unpacked for meaning and aesthetic effectiveness. Shakespeare’s controlled use of metaphor in Sonnet 73 makes for a telling contrast.</p> <p>The Great War, Glitch and Snow on the Beach are good for exploring how well a single extended metaphor can function to carry the meaning of a song. Sonnets 8, 18, 143 and 147 can be explored in similar terms.</p> <p>Just as students can analyse the “turn” or concluding couplet in a Shakespearean sonnet to see how it reshapes the poem, they can do the same with songs on Midnights. Swift is known for writing effective bridges that contribute fresh, important content towards the end of a song: Sweet Nothing, Mastermind and Dear Reader are excellent examples.</p> <p>Such unexpected pairings are valuable because they require close attention and careful articulation of what is similar and what is not. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129, for example (the famous one on lust), and Swift’s Bigger than the Whole Sky (a powerful expression of loss) make for a gripping comparison of how intense feeling can be expressed poetically.</p> <p>Or consider Sonnet 29 (“When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”) and Sweet Nothing: both celebrate intimacy as a defence against the pressures of the public world. How about High Infidelity and Sonnet 138 (where love and self-deception coexist), considered in terms of truth in relationships?</p> <p>There is nothing to lose and plenty to gain in teaching Swift’s Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets together. There’s no dumbing-down involved. And there’s no need for reductive assertions about who is “better”.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223312/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liam-e-semler-1507004"><em>Liam E Semler</em></a><em>, Professor of Early Modern Literature, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/should-taylor-swift-be-taught-alongside-shakespeare-a-professor-of-literature-says-yes-223312">original article</a>.</em></p>

Music

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"What a legend": Michael J Fox receives emotional standing ovation

<p>Michael J Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, made a surprise appearance at the BAFTA Awards in London. </p> <p><em>The Back to the Future</em> actor came onstage in a wheelchair, but he insisted on standing up at the podium to present the Best Film award. </p> <p>The star-studded audience all rose to their feet and gave the actor a standing ovation.  </p> <p>When presenting the award, Fox described cinema as "magic" which can "change your life".</p> <p>"Five films were nominated in this category tonight and all five have something in common. They are the best of what we do," he said. </p> <p>He added that films can bring people together "no matter who you are or where you're from".</p> <p>"There's a reason why they say movies are magic because movies can change your day.</p> <p>"It can change your outlook. Sometimes it can change your life."</p> <p>Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's in the 1990s, rarely makes public appearances. </p> <p>Many fans were pleasantly surprised at his appearance as he presented the night’s biggest award, Best Film, to <em>Oppenheimer</em>.</p> <p>"I was in tears the moment Michael J Fox came on the stage," one fan wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.</p> <p>"THE MAN IS A LEGEND"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">i was in tears the moment Michael J Fox came on the stage 😥😥😥</p> <p>THE MAN IS A LEGEND <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BAFTAs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BAFTAs</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BAFTA2024?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BAFTA2024</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EEBAFTAs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EEBAFTAs</a> <a href="https://t.co/Uud368S9gb">pic.twitter.com/Uud368S9gb</a></p> <p>— RanaJi🏹 (@RanaTells) <a href="https://twitter.com/RanaTells/status/1759323180060299726?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>"Michael J Fox. Absolute hero. What a legend," wrote another. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Michael J Fox. Absolute hero. What a legend. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BAFTAs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BAFTAs</a> <a href="https://t.co/62lxpCy3mn">pic.twitter.com/62lxpCy3mn</a></p> <p>— Jules 🌼 (@JulesItsjules) <a href="https://twitter.com/JulesItsjules/status/1759320058583568638?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>"All those stars in the room, and still the biggest and most affectionate reaction is for Michael J Fox, because the man is a legend," added a third. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">All those stars in the room, and still the biggest and most affectionate reaction is for Michael J Fox, because the man is a legend. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EEBAFTAs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EEBAFTAs</a></p> <p>— Declan Cashin (@Tweet_Dec) <a href="https://twitter.com/Tweet_Dec/status/1759319831696855281?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>"He's a total legend and wonderful human," wrote a fourth. </p> <p>The actor has spoken <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/i-m-not-gonna-be-80-michael-j-fox-s-tragic-admission" target="_blank" rel="noopener">candidly</a> about his experience with Parkinson's over the years, and has said that he has made peace with the degenerative nature of the disease. </p> <p>In a previous interview with AARP magazine profile, the actor admitted that he did not fear death. </p> <p>“I am genuinely a happy guy. I don’t have a morbid thought in my head — I don’t fear death. At all," he told the publication. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

TV

Property

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Mission: Impossible Sydney mansion sells for eye-watering price

<p>One of Sydney's most iconic properties, known as the Boomerang in Elizabeth Bay, has sold for $80 million. </p> <p>The mansion is featured in the second instalment in the <em>Mission: Impossible</em> franchise, with the 2000 movie starring Tom Cruise being set and filmed in Sydney.</p> <p>It was the first house to officially sell for above $1 million in 1978, before setting another record in 2002 when it fetched $20.7 million.</p> <p>Now, multiple sources have confirmed it has been snapped up by a purchaser, originally from Asia, for four times what it last sold for. </p> <p>The property has long been rated as one of Sydney’s Top 50 homes, and has been in the name of Katrina Fox, the daughter of Melbourne-based billionaire trucking magnate Lindsay Fox, since 2005. </p> <p>The impressive home was put up for sale by Ray White in 2017 with hopes of selling for $60 million and then again with Brad Pillinger of Pillinger for $80 million in 2021 — the last agent to have it listed.</p> <p>Pillinger couldn’t be contacted ahead of publication, but other sources have confirmed the property has sold for the $80m asking price, while speculation from other sources that the result was $105 million have been dismissed.</p> <p>Boomerang sits on 4233 square metres of waterfront land, and features 25 rooms including a private cinema modelled on the State Theatre.</p> <p><em>Image credits: realestate.com.au / Paramount Pictures</em></p>

Real Estate

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Better Homes and Gardens star's dream rural property up for grabs

<p><em>Better Homes and Gardens </em>star Charlie Albone and his wife interior designer Juliet Love, have listed their dream Ourimbah home. </p> <p>The 2.07ha property located on the Central Coast has been listed by McGrath Gosford agents Peter Morris and Nate Waters with a $3m to $3.2m price guidance.</p> <p>The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home sits deep behind a gated entry, which ensures privacy and is surrounded by plenty of greenery with its garden alcoves, a stunning wisteria-covered arbour, fruit trees, and a few garden beds for vegetables. </p> <p>There is also a feature dry-stone wall fire pit built by Scottish stonemason Callum Grey, that's perfect for winter and colder nights.</p> <p>The English cottage-style home  comes with a separate self-contained unit that includes a bedroom and kitchenette. </p> <p>The home is every animal lovers' dream with five paddocks that come with animal shelters, plumbed water troughs and a three-stall stable. </p> <p>For those hot summer days, whoever the new owners are can dip into the saltwater pool located on the property. </p> <p>The property is equipped with 100,000-litre tanks and has town water. </p> <p>Albone and his family bought the property in 2012 for $840,000 which means that if it was sold at the price guide then it's almost four times the original price they bought it at. </p> <p>The top acreage sale at Ourimbah currently sits at $3,725,000 for a 13.93ha Dog Trap Rd six-bedroom house, which sold in 2021.</p> <p><em>Images: news.com.au</em></p>

Real Estate

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Former home of Kylie Minogue and Michael Hutchence for sale

<p>The stunning Sydney apartment that Michael Hutchence and Kylie Minogue shared for two years has hit the market. </p> <p>The late INXS frontman and the Aussie pop princess lived in the Liverpool Street apartment from 1989 to 1991, with the building boasting a colourful history. </p> <p>The current owner and director of AusMed Innovations Gavin Holland, who owns the Longevity Lounge in Double Bay, believes the picturesque apartment overlooking Hyde Park and the harbour was the scene of some wild parties.</p> <p>“I know that back in those days there was a lot of socialising that went on, for want of a better word,” says Holland.</p> <p>“In this building, there’ve been suicides, murders, famous and infamous people — all sorts of stuff."</p> <p>Despite the past history of the building, the two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment boasts new finishings and stunning views of the city. </p> <p>“But what we’ve done recently is spend two-and-a-half million dollars on refurbishing the rooftop pool and jacuzzi, so that’s obviously an expense the new owners won’t need to fork out.”</p> <p>Hutchence is known to have lived in the apartment with Minogue on level 27, just two floors below the communal rooftop pool, for two years during their whirlwind romance.</p> <p>The apartment at <a href="https://www.realestate.com.au/property-apartment-nsw-sydney-144104704">2704/187 Liverpool Street, Sydney </a>has a $3.3 million guide, and will be auctioned at the end of February. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / realestate.com.au</em></p>

Real Estate

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Flower tycoon pays $76 million in CASH for epic mansion

<p>A Sydney businessman and flower mogul has expanded his real estate portfolio, snapping up one of NSW's most prestigious properties. </p> <p>Leo Lynch and his wife Christina have bought a Federation mansion in Sydney's Bellevue Hill, with the eight-bedroom eight-bathroom property boasting impressive views of Sydney Harbour. </p> <p>The mansion, which was built in the 1890s, also showcases a pool, tennis court, and endless luxury amenities for the well-off buyers. </p> <p>"Designed by architect Walter Vernon," read the listing for the property, "the home is considered his most significant residence. Other heritage buildings designed by Vernon include the Australian Museum, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Central Railway Station. A truly rare offering to earn a piece of Australian history."</p> <p>While securing the house seems like a huge feat in itself, the Lynch's decided to take the purchase to the next level, buying the home for $76 million in cold hard cash. </p> <p>Despite paying the whopping eight-figure for the mansion, the home needs work and is set to undergo renovations. </p> <p>The purchase of the property, named Leura, comes just after the Lynch's sold their former home for $52.4million more than he bought it.</p> <p>The same night he made the enormous purchase for the Leura estate, he sold his mystery home, just blocks away, for $61.5 million after rebuilding the property he had bought for just $9.05 million in 2014.</p> <p>Leo Lynch, 60, is a third generation of the wholesale flower family's company, founded in 1915 and for which private equity group Next Capital took a majority interest in 2015, before it was publicly listed in 2021.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Domain</em></p>

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