Retirement Life

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Older people slower but smarter than young’uns

<div> <div class="copy"> <p>Human intelligence is wired to peak at different stages of life – and it turns out the brain saves some goodies for the golden years, American scientists found. </p> <p>The ability to think quickly and recall information, known as “fluid intelligence”, was long thought to reach its pinnacle at around 20 years old, followed by a slow, unrelenting decline.</p> <p>But the picture’s more complicated than that.</p> <p>A pair of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital collected online IQ and memory tests from more than 48,000 participants, which measured around 30 aspects of intelligence, including digit memorisation, visual search and assembling puzzles.</p> <p>“We were mapping when these cognitive abilities were peaking, and we saw there was no single peak for all abilities. The peaks were all over the place,” study co-author Joshua Hartshorne described.</p> <p>Where raw speed in processing information peaked around the age of graduating high school, short-term memory improved until age 25 and didn’t decline until age 35.</p> <p>But the ability to evaluate other people’s emotional states didn’t peak until the 40s and 50s, the data showed. And the most stellar performers in vocabulary intelligence were participants in their late 60s or early 70s.</p> <p>“At any given age, you’re getting better at some things, you’re getting worse at some other things, and you’re at a plateau at some other things,” Hartshorne explained.</p> <p>“There’s probably not one age at which you’re peak on most things, much less all of them.”</p> <p>The authors attribute these late intelligent blooms to today’s better education, more jobs that require reading and better intellectual stimulation for older people.</p> <p>How the brain rewires intelligence at a molecular level remains unclear, but previous studies indicated changes in gene expression and brain structure could play a role, the authors point out.</p> <p>“You see these lifespan patterns that we don’t know what to make of,” said study co-author Laura Germine.</p> <p>“The brain seems to continue to change in dynamic ways through early adulthood and middle age.”</p> <p>The researchers are continuing their studies using the online quizzes, now with added brain-probing tasks designed to test social and emotional intelligence, language skills and executive function.</p> <p>“We took the existing theories that were out there and showed that they’re all wrong. The question now is: What is the right one? To get to that answer, we’re going to need to run a lot more studies and collect a lot more data,” Hartshorne said.</p> <p>Want to see how your own brain stacks up? Take the team’s tests at <a rel="noopener" href="http://gameswithwords.org/" target="_blank">gameswithwords.org</a> and <a rel="noopener" href="http://testmybrain.org/" target="_blank">testmybrain.org</a>.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/people/social-sciences/older-people-slower-but-smarter-than-younguns/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and written by Viviane Richter. </em></p> </div> </div>

Retirement Life

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Chilling reincarnation stories: meet 6 people who’ve lived before

<p>“When I was your age, I changed your diaper,” said the dark-haired boy to his father.</p> <p>Ron* (* names of boys and their family members were changed to protect privacy) looked down at his smiling son, who had not yet turned two.</p> <p>He thought it was a very strange thing to say, but he figured he had misheard him.</p> <p>But as baby Sam made similar remarks over the next few months, Ron and his wife Cathy gradually pieced together an odd story: Sam believed that he was his deceased grandfather, Ron’s late father, who had returned to his family.</p> <p>More intrigued than alarmed, Ron and Cathy asked Sam, “How did you come back?”</p> <p>“I just went whoosh and came out the portal,” he responded.</p> <p>Although Sam was a precocious child – he’d been speaking in full sentences from the age of 18 months – his parents were stunned to hear him use a word like portal, and they encouraged him to say more.</p> <p>They asked Sam if he’d had any siblings, and he replied that he’d had a sister who “turned into a fish”.</p> <p>“Who turned her into a fish?”</p> <p>“Some bad guys. She died.”</p> <p>Eerily enough, Sam’s grandfather had a sister who had been murdered 60 years earlier; her body was found floating in San Francisco Bay.</p> <p>Ron and Cathy then gently asked Sam, “Do you know how you died?”</p> <p>Sam jerked back and slapped the top of his head as if in pain.</p> <p>One year before Sam was born, his grandfather had died of a cerebral haemorrhage.</p> <h4>Is reincarnation real?</h4> <p>Today more than 75 million people in America – across all religions – believe in reincarnation, according to a Pew Forum on Religion &amp; Public Life poll; a separate survey reports that roughly one in ten people can recall his or her own past life.</p> <p>There have been many reality-TV series and documentaries on the topic such as Ghost Inside My Child, about children with past-life memories, and Reincarnated: Past Lives, in which people go under hypnosis to discover their earlier existences.</p> <p>Why this fascination? Part of reincarnation’s appeal has to do with its hopeful underlying promise: that we can do better in our next lives.</p> <p>“With reincarnation, there is always another opportunity,” explains Stafford Betty, a professor of religious studies at California State University, Bakersfield, and the author of The Afterlife Unveiled.</p> <p>“The universe takes on a merciful hue. It’s a great improvement over the doctrine of eternal hell.”</p> <p>Yet despite the popular interest, few scientists give reincarnation much credence.</p> <p>They regard it as a field filled with charlatans, scams and tall tales of having once been royalty.</p> <p>Reincarnation is “an intriguing psychological phenomenon,” says Christopher C. French, a professor of psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, who heads a unit that studies claims of paranormal experiences.</p> <p>“But I think it is far more likely that such apparent memories are, in fact, false memories rather than accurate memories of events that were experienced in a past life.”</p> <p>For more than 45 years, a team at the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia (UVA) has been collecting stories of people who can recall their past lives.</p> <p>And if the professors determine that there is some merit to these memories, their findings will call into question the idea that our humanity ends with our death.</p> <h4>“Mummy, I’m so homesick”</h4> <p>Among the UVA case studies is the story of a boy named Ryan from Oklahoma, USA.</p> <p>A few years ago, the four-year-old woke up screaming at two in the morning.</p> <p>Over the preceding months, he’d been pleading with his bewildered mother, Cyndi, to take him to the house where he’d “lived before.”</p> <p>In tears, he’d beg her to return him to his glittering life in Hollywood – complete with a big house, a pool, and fast cars – that was so fabulous, he once said, “I can’t live in these conditions. My last home was much better.”</p> <p>When Cyndi went into her son’s room that night, Ryan kept repeating the same words – “Mommy, I’m so homesick” – as she tried to comfort him and rock him to sleep.</p> <p>“He was like a little old man who couldn’t remember all the details of his life. He was so frustrated and sad,” Cyndi says.</p> <p>The next morning, she went to the library, borrowed a pile of books about old Hollywood, and brought them home.</p> <p>With Ryan in her lap, Cyndi went through the volumes; she was hoping the pictures might soothe him.</p> <p>Instead, he became more and more excited as they looked at one particular book.</p> <p>When they came to a still of a scene from a 1932 movie called Night After Night, he stopped her.</p> <p>“Mama,” he shouted, pointing to one of the actors, who wasn’t identified. “That guy’s me! The old me!”</p> <p>“I was shocked,” Cyndi admits. “I never thought that we’d find the person he thought he was.”</p> <p>But she was equally relieved. “Ryan had talked about his other life and been so unhappy, and now we had something to go on.”</p> <p>Although neither Cyndi nor her husband believed in reincarnation, she went back to the library the next day and checked out a book about children who possessed memories of their past lives.</p> <p>At the end of it was a note from the author, Professor Jim Tucker, saying that he wanted to hear from the parents of kids with similar stories.</p> <p>Cyndi sat down to write him a letter.</p> <h4>The ghost hunters</h4> <p><span>Tucker was a child psychiatrist in private practice when he heard about the reincarnation research being conducted by Dr Ian Stevenson, founder and director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at UVA. </span></p> <p><span>He was intrigued and began working with the division in 1996; six years later, when Stevenson retired, Tucker took over as the leader of the division’s past-life research. </span></p> <p><span>T</span><span>he UVA team has gathered more than 2500 documented cases of children from all over the world who have detailed memories of former lives, including that of a California toddler with a surprisingly good golf swing who said he had once been legendary athlete Bobby Jones; a Midwestern five-year-old who shared some of the same memories and physical traits – blindness in his left eye, a mark on his neck, a limp – as a long-deceased brother; and a girl in India who woke up one day and began speaking fluently in a dialect she’d never heard before. </span></p> <p><span>(Tucker describes these cases in his book </span><em>Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Their Past Lives</em><span><em>.</em>)</span></p> <p>The children in the UVA collection typically began talking about their previous lives when they were two or three years old and stopped by the age of six or seven.</p> <p>“That is around the same time that we all lose our memories of early childhood,” Tucker says.</p> <p>When he first learns about a subject, he checks for fraud, deliberate or unconscious, by asking two questions: “Do the parents seem credible?” and “Could the child have picked up the memories through TV, overheard conversations, or other ordinary means?”</p> <p>If he can rule out fraud, he and his team interview the child and his or her family to get a detailed account about the previous life.</p> <p>Then the researchers try to find a deceased person whose life matches the memories.</p> <p>This last part is essential because otherwise the child’s story would be just a fantasy.</p> <p>Close to three-quarters of the cases investigated by the team are “solved”, meaning that a person from the past matching the child’s memories is identified.</p> <p>In addition, nearly 20% of the kids in the UVA cases have naturally occurring marks or impairments that match scars and injuries on the past person.</p> <p>One boy who recalled being shot possessed two birthmarks – a large, ragged one over his left eye and a small, round one on the back of his head – which lined up like a bullet’s entrance and exit wounds.</p> <p>In the case of Ryan, the boy longing for a Hollywood past, an archivist pored over books in a film library until she found a person who appeared to be the man he’d singled out: Hollywood agent Marty Martyn, who made an unbilled cameo in Night After Night.</p> <p>After Cyndi spoke with Tucker, he interviewed Ryan, and then the family contacted Martyn’s daughter.</p> <p>She met with Tucker, Ryan and Cyndi, and along with public records, she confirmed more than 50 details that Ryan had reported about her father’s life, from his work history to the location and contents of his home.</p> <p>Cyndi felt tremendous relief when she was told that her son’s story matched Martyn’s. She says, “He wasn’t crazy! There really was another family.”</p> <h4>Plane on fire!</h4> <p>Tucker learned about the best-known recent reincarnation case study from TV producers.</p> <p>In 2002, he was contacted to work for and appear on a show about reincarnation (the programme never aired) and was told about James Leininger, a four-year-old Louisiana boy who believed that he was once a World War II pilot who had been shot down over Iwo Jima.</p> <p>Bruce and Andrea Leininger first realised that James had these memories when he was two and woke up from a nightmare, yelling, “Airplane crash! Plane on fire! Little man can’t get out!”</p> <p>He also knew details about WWII aircraft that would seem impossible for a toddler to know.</p> <p>For instance, when Andrea referred to an object on the bottom of a toy plane as a bomb, James corrected her by saying it was a drop tank.</p> <p>Another time, he and his parents were watching a History Channel documentary, and the narrator called a Japanese plane a Zero.</p> <p>James insisted that it was a Tony. In both cases, he was right.</p> <p>The boy said that he had also been named James in his previous life and that he’d flown off a ship named the Natoma.</p> <p>The Leiningers discovered a WWII aircraft carrier called the USS Natoma Bay.</p> <p>In its squadron was a pilot named James Huston, who had been killed in action over the Pacific.</p> <p>James talked incessantly about his plane crashing, and he was disturbed by nightmares a few times a week.</p> <p>His desperate mother contacted past-life therapist Carol Bowman for help.</p> <p>Bowman told Andrea not to dismiss what James was saying and to assure him that whatever happened had occurred in another life and body and he was safe now.</p> <p>Andrea followed her advice, and James’s dreams diminished. (His parents coauthored <em>Soul Survivor</em>, a 2009 book about their family’s story.)</p> <p>Professor French, who is familiar with Tucker’s work, says “the main problem with [his] investigating is that the research typically begins long after the child has been accepted as a genuine reincarnation by his or her family and friends.”</p> <p>About James Leininger, French says, “Although his parents insisted they never watched World War II documentaries or talked about military history, we do know that at 18 months of age, James was taken to a flight museum, where he was fascinated by the World War II planes."</p> <p>"In all probability, the additional details were unintentionally implanted by his parents and by a counsellor who was a firm believer in reincarnation.”</p> <p>Tucker says that he has additional documentation for many of James Leininger’s statements, and they were made before anyone in the family had heard of James Huston or the USS Natoma Bay.</p> <p>French responds that “children’s utterances are often ambiguous and open to interpretation.</p> <p>For example, perhaps James said something that just sounded a bit like Natoma?”</p> <p>Bruce Leininger, James’s father, understands French’s disbelief.</p> <p>“I was the original sceptic,” he says. “But the information James gave us was so striking and unusual. If someone wants to look at the facts and challenge them, they’re welcome to examine everything we have.”</p> <p>Bruce laughs at the idea that he and his wife planted the memories, saying, “You try telling a two-year-old what to believe; you’re not going to be able to give them a script.”</p> <h4>The boy who fulfilled his past life’s destiny</h4> <p>Born in Seattle in 1991, Sonam Wangdu was only two years old when he realised he was actually the fourth reincarnation of the original Tibetan lama (“lama” is the Tibetan word for “guru”), Dezhung Rinpoche I.</p> <p>The realisation was the culmination of a number of signs that had been accumulating since before the boy was even born.</p> <p>These included the visions of his mother and her own lama, as well as the words of the third reincarnation of Dezhung, himself (Dezhung Rinpoche III), who informed his acolytes in 1987 (the year of his death), “I will be reborn in Seattle.”</p> <p>In 1996, the boy, who by then only answered to the name, Trulku-la (which means “reincarnation”), left his family – forever – to be raised by monks while studying Tibetan Buddhism in Kathmandu, Nepal and eventually becoming the head of a monastery there.</p> <p>Arriving in Nepal, “dressed in gold and maroon robes and riding on a luggage cart pushed by his mother, the little lama smiled widely,” reported SeattleMet in a 2016 follow-up story tracing the boy’s journey over the past 20 years.</p> <p>“When asked how long he would stay in Nepal, though, the little boy was serene, almost stoic. ‘Lots of time,’ he said. ‘I’m just going to stay here a long time.’”</p> <p>And that has proven to be true. The boy is now in his 23rd year of life as the fourth reincarnation of Dezhung Rinpoche I.</p> <h4>The reincarnation of Franz Lizst</h4> <p><span>Vladimir Levinski, who was born David Secombe in England in the 1930s, had such an innate gift for playing the piano that he was able to teach himself to be a concert pianist (when asked about lessons, he remarked, “I have no time for them, I have a technique of my own.”) </span></p> <p><span>So gifted was Levinski, and at such a young age, that he came to recognise himself as the reincarnation of Franz Lizst, the German composer and pianist. </span></p> <p><span>By age 21, he was performing for packed concert halls and known as the “Paganini of the Piano.” </span></p> <p><span>Unfortunately, Levinski’s interest in Lizst at times came to border on obsession, such as when he was playing a concert on January 23, 1952, and stopped playing halfway through to talk about Lizst. </span></p> <p><span>The audience was disappointed, but Levinski, for his part, felt the concert was a “tremendous success,” in part because he experienced it as only the reincarnation of the renowned composer and performer, Lizst, could.</span></p> <h4>Long live hope</h4> <p>Tucker, too, knows that for most scientists, reincarnation will always seem like a fantastical notion regardless of how much evidence is presented.</p> <p>For him, success doesn’t mean persuading the naysayers to accept the existence of reincarnation but rather encouraging people to consider the meaning of consciousness and how it might survive our deaths.</p> <p>“I believe in the possibility of reincarnation, which is different from saying that I believe in reincarnation,” he explains.</p> <p>“I do think these cases require an explanation that is out of the ordinary, although that certainly doesn’t mean we all reincarnate.”</p> <p>Does Tucker believe that in the future, there will be a child who is able to recall his own memories?</p> <p>“Memories of past lives are not very common, so I don’t expect that,” he says. “But I do hope there’s some continuation after death for me and for all of us.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/the-children-whove-lived-before" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

Retirement Life

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You'll be happiest during these two years of your life, according to science

<p>Think you have already reached your peak in life?</p> <p>You might want to think again.</p> <p>We want to share some good news with you: Your happiest years are still ahead!</p> <p>According to new <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1229.pdf" target="_blank">research</a>, we’re happiest at two points in our lives – not just one.</p> <p>Researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science asked 23,000 German volunteers aged 17 to 85 to rate their life satisfaction.</p> <p>Participants predicted how happy they would feel in five years, and then, after five years’ time, reported back on how they actually felt.</p> <p>Their results? Anything but negative!</p> <p>The study found that happiness tends to follow a U-shaped curve over an individual’s lifetime, with satisfaction reaching higher levels during the extremes of the study’s age range and swinging down with middle age.</p> <p>Plus, the researchers noted the two most important years when happiness peaks: ages 23 and 69.</p> <p>If you think about it, that makes a lot of sense.</p> <p>In our early 20s, we’re energetic and excited for the changes that come along with young age: new careers, new places to travel and new people to meet.</p> <p>By the time we reach our 60s and 70s, though, we have likely retired and can now find the time – not to mention the money! – to book a holiday somewhere at a moment’s notice.</p> <p>The dip in middle age is also pretty logical.</p> <p>After all, your 40+ years are a busy time filled with “raising families, climbing the corporate ladder, and you know, life in general,” <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.brit.co/happiest-age-2/" target="_blank">Brit+Co</a> writes.</p> <p>Of course, that’s all the more reason to find easy ways to be happier without really trying, regardless of your age!</p> <p>Experts recommend prioritising small yet rewarding tasks like taking a walk or spending time with family.</p> <p>Just remember, now you have one more reason to look forward to getting older: a boost in happiness!</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article was originally published for <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/mental-health/youll-be-happiest-during-these-two-years-your-life-according" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Meet the woman who’s been trapping lobsters since before World War II

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Virginia Oliver, 101-year-old resident of Rockland, Maine, started trapping lobsters when she was just 8 years old, right before the Great Depression hit, and she’s been going ever since. She’s been a trailblazer her entire life: when she started, few women were trapping lobsters, and now she’s the oldest lobster fisher in the coastal northeastern state best known for its lobsters, and most likely one of the oldest lobster fishers in the world.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She tends to her traps with her 78-year-old son Max, having learned about the business from her father, a lobster dealer. Lobsters, which used to be considered a cheap food primarily eaten by working class families, fetched 28 cents/pound when she started trapping; now, having become a delicacy, they fetch 15 times that. Perhaps most surprisingly, she isn’t sick of eating lobster yet – she enjoys a lobster dinner of her own roughly once a week. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 332.79220779220776px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844167/gettyimages-1234361930.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/99b6ddc285094a56b437a724f25c8637" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Oliver catches lobsters by loading small fish called menhaden, or ‘pogeys’ in lobster-speak, into wire traps, and drives a boat that once belonged to her late husband that bears her name, ‘Virginia’. She said she has no intention of stopping, but she is concerned about the health of Maine’s lobster population, which is subject to heavy fishing pressure.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Of her decision to continue working, Oliver said, “I’ve done it all my life, so I might as well keep doing it.” Even after a scare where a crab snipped her finger, requiring seven stitches, she never considered retirement. According to family friend Wayne Gray, the doctor admonished her, asking, “Why are you out there lobstering?” with Oliver responding with a simple, “Because I want to.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I like doing it, I like being along the water. And I’m going to keep on doing it just as long as I can.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Joseph Prezioso/AFP</span></em></p>

Retirement Life

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The rise of the Grandfluencer

<p dir="ltr">While previously platforms like Instagram and TikTok were thought to be almost exclusively for young people, there’s a new wave of older influencers, or “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-13/social-media-s-70-up-grandfluencers-debunking-aging-myths/100443904" target="_blank">Grandfluencers</a>”, who are proving that isn’t the case, and doing it in style.</p> <p dir="ltr">Joan MacDonald, who goes by<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/trainwithjoan/" target="_blank">@trainwithjoan</a>, is a 75-year-old who started posting about her fitness journey on Instagram in 2017, and has amassed a staggering 1.4 million followers in the four years since. Most recently, she launched an app with her daughter, a fitness coach, that features meal plans and fitness routines for a variety of fitness levels.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to the ABC, Ms MacDonald said she was initially surprised that people would be interested in what she had to say, but that her daughter soon cleared things up for her: “She said it's what you're representing, that people can do what they think they've not been able to do, or were told that they couldn't do."</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CTo-a_mrLJT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CTo-a_mrLJT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Joan MacDonald (@trainwithjoan)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Over on TikTok, a group of four gay men who go by<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@oldgays?lang=en" target="_blank">@oldgays</a><span> </span>post multiple times a week to their 2.4 million followers, primarily about their attempts to understand contemporary popular culture and contemporary gay culture, with hilarious results.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CTsTbYQgBGf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CTsTbYQgBGf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Old Gays (@theoldgays)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">One mum explained the appeal of these older influencers to the ABC. Grace Maier, who has two young children, said of one of her favourite Grandfluencers, @brunchwithbabs, “She's got all of these life hacks and tips that remind me of things my grandma shared with me before she passed.</p> <p dir="ltr">"She also doesn't take herself too seriously and just seems like the kind of person who would welcome you into her home.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Babs, a 72-year-old grandmother who lives in Connecticut, shares delicious recipes and life hacks with nearly half a million followers, who come for the food but stay for the maternal wisdom.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CTplhCwlwrL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CTplhCwlwrL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Babs (@brunchwithbabs)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">According to a 2019 survey by AARP, a US group which advocates for those over the age of 50, while most people aged 50 and over use technology to stay connected to friends and family, less than half use social media daily.</p> <p dir="ltr">The second-youngest member of Old Gays, 68-year-old Jessay Martin, said that social media had “changed his life”, allowing him to put himself out there and be much more social. “I was just sort of floating by, not being social, not putting myself out there in the gay community. And boy, has the Old Gays changed that."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: @trainwithjoan/Instagram, @theoldgays/Instagram</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Nutrient supplements do no good, may do harm

<div class="copy">The only vitamins that help are the ones you get from food, a new study suggests.</div> <div class="copy"> <p>Researchers at Tufts University in the US find that vitamin and mineral supplements are at best a waste of money, and at worst are correlated with increased mortality rates.</p> </div> <div class="copy"> <p>The study, led by nutrition specialist Fang Fang Zhang and <a href="https://dx.doi.org/10.7326/M18-2478">published</a> in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, finds that adequate intakes of vitamin K and magnesium are associated with lower all-cause mortality rates, but the findings hold true only for intake from food sources, not from vitamin supplements.</p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">On the other hand, excess calcium intake, including from supplements, was linked to a higher rate of cancer mortality. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">Vitamin D supplement intake for individuals with no vitamin D deficiency was linked to higher all-cause mortality rates. </span></p> <p>“As potential benefits and harms of supplement use continue to be studied, some studies have found associations between excess nutrient intake and adverse outcomes, including increased risk of certain cancers,” Zhang says.</p> <p>“It is important to understand the role that the nutrient and its source might play in health outcomes, particularly if the effect might not be beneficial.”</p> <p>The study is based on data from 27,725 adults who had answered a range of health and nutrition questions and completed at least one 24-hour food log for the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2006 and 2011.</p> <p>More than half of the participants had used at least one dietary supplement within the previous 30 days, with over 38% using a multivitamin or mineral product.</p> <p>Supplement users were more likely than the rest of the population to get nutrients through their food.</p> <p>They were also disproportionately older, wealthier, whiter, more educated, physically active, and female.</p> <p>They were less likely to smoke, drink heavily, or be obese.</p> <p>In other words, they were people with the resources and inclination to take care of their bodies.</p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">“Our results support the idea that, while supplement use contributes to an increased level of total nutrient intake, there are beneficial associations with nutrients from foods that aren’t seen with supplements,” said Zhang. </span></p> <p>“This study also confirms the importance of identifying the nutrient source when evaluating mortality outcomes.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/nutrient-supplements-do-no-good-may-do-harm/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Samantha Page.</em></p> </div>

Retirement Life

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Inside the world’s first midlife wisdom school

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When retirement age hits, a whole new set of challenges are presented. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">From health insurance, funeral plans, superannuation and everything in between, the transition into retirement can be trickier than originally thought.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In order to help with this uncertain time, the world’s first </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">midlife wisdom school, known as <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.modernelderacademy.com" target="_blank">Modern Elder Academy</a> (MEA) has been founded by CEO Chip Conley.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">MEA offers courses, both on-line and in person that help people to navigate midlife transitions, find purpose and reframe their mindset on ageing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">MEA attracts people of all ages and stages, from midlife and beyond to help and reframe how individuals think about retirement. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Writer Ang Galloway, who is part of the MEA team, said the program helped them restructure their thinking. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I want more from the second half of life than the societal script I inherited. I knew I wasn’t in the market for sensible, beige or elasticised anything and yet the image of ageing that society reflected back at me was at total odds with how I felt. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“MEA helped me to reframe midlife from a crisis to a calling.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Founder Chip Conley said he was inspired to create MEA after writing his book titled </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wisdom@Work: The Making of Modern Elder. </span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There’s a whole culture out there telling us that getting older means becoming less relevant. But MEA deems that wisdom and experience have never been more important in the workplace…or in the world.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said, “At MEA we believe in making ageing aspirational. It’s about creating a life that is as deep and meaningful as it is long.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">MEA runs a series of online courses, including “Navigating Midlife Transitions”, “The Big Reset” and “Flourish in Midlife and Beyond”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The courses have been a huge success online, with people from all over the globe saying how MEA’s message helped them redefine what retirement means for them.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

Retirement Life

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How over 60s are coping better with lockdown restrictions

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With over half the Australian population currently subject to stay-at-home orders, there is mounting evidence that older people are handling COVID-19 lockdowns better than their younger counterparts. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A recent study conducted by Macquarie University psychologists found that Aussie pensioners are experiencing better mental health and general wellbeing through the pandemic. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The research </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">has measured the mental, social and physical wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 on older adults across a range of samples.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Overall, we are finding that while many older adults reported low mood and worry, it is not as severe as might be expected, and that in many cases older adults were coping well,” says Professor Viviana Wuthrich, Director of Macquarie University’s Centre for Ageing, Cognition and Wellbeing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Wuthrich says these findings are consistent with global research and further reinforces the conclusion that age is associated with greater psychological resilience in the face of crisis.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While this study found that older people were more mentally resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic, the study took place in a US city in March 2020 before the effects of the deadly and highly contagious Delta variant were felt around the world. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Even though older people understood they were at greater risk if they got COVID, that they could die or have serious complications – they still reported better mental health and better wellbeing,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We've seen the same effects from studies in Spain, Canada and the Netherlands, and all found that older people were doing better than younger people.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Wuthrich did note that many studies found there was a significant increase in loneliness among the older generations, while technology was considered a ‘protective factor’ in combating feelings of isolation. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We found that living with someone else, rather than living alone, was protective,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We also found that another strong predictor of whether older people were resilient was about how much contact they had with their grandchildren.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Those older people who were maintaining contact with grandchildren, whether via telephone or video conferencing, or in some cases, still face-to-face, were experiencing better mental health,” she says.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

Retirement Life

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How a financially-savvy 29-year-old plans to retire at age 35

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Michelle Ives, a 29-year-old mother of one, believes she has discovered the secret to an early and stress-free retirement. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Central Coast native is planning to retire from running her own copywriting business when she turns 35 in just six short years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By then, her family will have an impressive investment portfolio worth over $2million. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She plans to leave her job and live off between $70,000 and $100,000 a year from the money her family will make in investing. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Michelle started her first job at age 14, she said the idea of working into her 70s made her feel “very trapped”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But when she turned 21 and started working full time as a journalist, she got serious about following a strict financial plan. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Everyone followed this linear path to retirement where they work, work, work and do the nine-to-five or just have a job and then they get to 60 to 65 and retire and then potentially have a few golden years to make use of the nest egg that they have built, and that’s if they even have one,” she told </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/superannuation/how-29yearold-michelle-ives-plans-to-retire-at-35/news-story/39a07c283824f7b95d58365a54056922" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But it never made sense to me … and I didn’t feel like it was the only path to financial freedom. I was excited to work but why should I have to do that every day until I’m in my sixties or seventies and not even able bodied enough to enjoy it?”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Michelle follows a financial movement called FIRE (financial independence and retiring early), which began in the US.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The saving-savvy mum said the movement is primarily about saving the majority of your income and living off what’s left over. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We save around 70 to 80 per cent of our income, as the theory behind FIRE is you need to either take existing income and need to peel it back as much as you possibly can and create disposable income and start saving and investing that.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Or create additional income streams, so get a raise or get a better job or have a side hustle or side business,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It brings forward the retirement age by decades than people can otherwise realistically do. For some people it’s 40 and for some people, 30 is increasingly becoming the age they can retire.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Michelle documents her early retirement plans on her blog and directs many people to financial resources to share her dream of an early retirement. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Shutterstock/Facebook: That Girl on Fire</span></em></p>

Retirement Life

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5 fool-proof ways to achieve a spectacular garden

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it comes to maintaining your garden, not everyone is a self-proclaimed green thumb.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A lot of different environmental and financial factors can alter the progress and growth of a healthy outdoor space. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But with these five tips, anyone can become an expert gardener in a few simple steps to have your garden thriving!</span></p> <p><strong>Plan your garden</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The key to a successful garden is planning and structuring before you even start.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You should know what type of soil you’re dealing with before you head to your local nursery to find plants that will work best. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You will also need to make sure you choose the right plants that will thrive in your garden outside, as well as what will work best in inside spaces. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So get planning, and talk to the professionals at your local nursery for fool-proof advice. </span></p> <p><strong>Buy plants that are difficult to kill</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are extensive ranges of low maintenance plants that are notoriously difficult to kill. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Renowned horticulturalist Mike Wells says there are many plants that are happy soaking in the sun without being regularly watered. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“People need to remember to check on their gardens and their indoor plants. Most indoor plants can last a week without watering but they need a quality potting mix,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mike says one of his go-to and easy-to-please plants is succulents, for both indoors and outdoors, as they don’t need daily watering and can be very inexpensive.</span></p> <p><strong>‘Set and forget’ plants</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some gardeners are turning to growing their own fresh produce, as they require a lot less maintenance. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These ‘set and forget’ plants are a great long-term investment, and do not need constant monitoring in larger garden beds</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Having fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs straight from your own backyard is a huge win financially, as well as for your kitchen!</span></p> <p><strong>Supercharging your plants</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In order to maintain a healthy, weed-free garden, mulching is a must. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mike Wells says that adding mulch to ornamental gardens can be a lifesaver by extending the longevity of all plants. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Cypress pine wood chips are best to 50 to 75mm deep. For a vegetable garden, these would be too coarse, so a chopped lucerne or fine sugar cane mulch to no deeper than 50mm is recommended,” says Mike.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“For the gardeners who don’t want to fertilise often, choose a controlled release plus organics product which should only need light incorporation every six months.”</span></p> <p><strong>Self-watering plants</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For the tech-savvy gardener, self-watering systems can be a lifesaver. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">No more having to schedule watering your plants, and worrying if they are getting enough </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">water, as smart systems take the hassle out for you. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They reduce the amount of water you need for the garden. Just set up the automatic timer and away you go.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are multiple options when deciding on an indoor or outdoor plant watering system. Some are so high tech you can operate them using a mobile phone.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These systems, combined with carefully planning and maintaining your garden, are destined to have your garden blooming all year round.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

Retirement Life

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10 long riddles to give your brain a workout

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Who doesn’t love a good riddle? Whether you prefer easy riddles, hard riddles, or short riddles, there’s just something about trying to solve these brain busters that keeps us coming back for more. Come on, is there anything better than finally solving a mind-bender we’ve been stuck on for a while?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You may consider yourself a master of riddles, but remember – you haven’t seen our list of long riddles yet. Buckle up – these riddles will get your gears turning!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Can you solve these long riddles?</span></p> <p><strong>The farmer's river crossing</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A farmer went to a market and bought a wolf, a goat, and a cabbage. On his way home, the farmer came to the bank of a river and rented a boat. But crossing the river by boat, the farmer could carry only himself and a single one of his purchases: the wolf, the goat, or the cabbage. If left unattended together, the wolf would eat the goat, or the goat would eat the cabbage. The farmer’s challenge was to carry himself and his purchases to the far bank of the river, leaving each purchase intact. How did he do it?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Answer: The farmer takes seven trips over – here are his steps:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Take the goat over</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Return</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Take the wolf or cabbage over</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Return with the goat</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Take the cabbage or wolf over</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Return</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Take goat over</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Note: The riddle doesn’t forbid the farmer from bringing a purchase back, which makes the steps above possible.</span></p> <p><strong>The suspicious hotel visit</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A woman is sitting in her hotel room and hears a knock at the door. She opens the door to see a man whom she’s never met before. He says, “I’m sorry, I have made a mistake, I thought this was my room.” He then goes down the corridor and into the elevator. The woman goes back into her room and calls security. What made the woman so suspicious of the man?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Answer: If he really thought it was his hotel room, he would have tried to open the door – not knock on it first.</span></p> <p><strong>Man and a brick</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A man is found unconscious in front of a store at two in the morning. His head is bleeding and there’s a brick laying next to him. When the police arrive, they carry the man to jail. Why did they arrest him?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Answer: The man was trying to rob the store. He threw a brick at the store’s bullet-proof window and it bounced back and hit him.</span></p> <p><strong>My three sons</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A father told his three sons he would die soon and he needed to decide which one of them to give his property to. He said, “Go to the market and buy something that is large enough to fill my bedroom, but small enough to fit in your pocket. From this, I will decide which of you is the wisest and worthy enough to inherit my land.” They all went to the market, and each came back with a different item. The father told his sons to come into his bedroom one at a time and try to fill up his bedroom with their item. The first son came in and put some pieces of cloth he bought and laid them across the room, but it barely covered the floor. The second son came in and laid some hay on the floor, but there was only enough to cover half the floor. The third son came in and showed his father what he bought. He wound up getting the property. What did the third son show his father?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Answer: A box of matches. Whenever he lit a match, it filled the room with light.</span></p> <p><strong>The big family</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There’s a girl who has a large family. She has an equal amount of brothers and sisters, but each brother only has half as many brothers and sisters. What’s the correct amount of brothers and sisters?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Answer: Four sisters and three brothers.</span></p> <p><strong>Door to paradise</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You stand in front of two doors. A guard stands next to each door. You know the following things: one path leads to paradise, the other leads to death. You cannot distinguish between the two doors. You also know that one of the two guards always tells the truth and the other always lies. You have permission to ask one guard one question to discover which door leads to paradise. What one question would you ask to guarantee you enter the door to paradise?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Answer: Ask, “Which door would the other guard say leads to paradise?”</span></p> <p><strong>The basket full of hats</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There is a basket full of hats. Three are white and two are black. Three men, Tom, Tim and Jim, each take a hat out of the basket and put it on their heads without seeing the hat they selected or the hats the other men selected. The men arrange themselves so Tom can see Tim and Jim’s hats, Tim can see Jim’s hat, and Jim can’t see anyone’s hat. Tom is asked what colour his hat is and he says he doesn’t know. Tim is asked the same question, and he also doesn’t know. Finally, Jim is asked the question, and he does know. What colour is his hat?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Answer: The hat is white. If Tom doesn’t know his hat colour then the other two men’s hats cannot be both black otherwise he would know his hat is white. When Tim doesn’t know his hat colour either, that means Jim’s hat could not be black otherwise Tim would have to know his hat was white based on Tom’s answer.</span></p> <p><strong>What word am I?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Consider this about a word: The first two letters signify a male, the first three letters signify a female, the first four letters signify a great, while the entire world signifies a great woman. What is the word?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Answer: Heroine.</span></p> <p><strong>The lake house</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sally lives in a place where six months of the year is mild summer and the temperature drops significantly the other six months. She owns a lake where there is a small island. She wants to build a house on the island and needs to get materials there. She doesn’t have a boat, plane, or anything to transport them to the island. How does Sally solve this problem?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Answer: She waits to take the materials over during the colder months because the lake will freeze over, so she can walk over it.</span></p> <p><strong>The old horror house</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You walk into an old horror house. It has no power or plumbing. Once inside, you see three doors. Each door has a number on it. Behind each door is a way for you to die. Behind door number one, you die by getting eaten by a lion. Behind door number two, you die by getting murdered. Behind door number three, you die by electric chair. You can’t turn back, so you have to go through a door. Which door do you go through?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Answer: Door number three – the house has no power, which means it doesn’t have electricity. Therefore, the electric chair won’t work.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Getty Images</span></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">This article first appeared on <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/long-riddles-to-give-your-brain-a-workout" target="_blank" title="Long riddles to give your brain a workout">Reader’s Digest</a>.</span></em></p> <p><br /><br /></p>

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Vintage-loving couple shun modern day life for 1940s style

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A British couple have shunned the bells and whistles of modern life to embrace a more old-fashioned lifestyle. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ruth Shelley, 28, and Robert Oestmann, 27, from the West Midlands share a love of all things vintage and have redecorated their home to match. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not only do they wear old-fashioned clothing, listen to wartime music on their gramophone, and refuse to own a TV, but they even own a vintage car.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 396.6386554621849px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843042/vintage-1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/9594583e62334e3a8e6396a9aea530ac" /></p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram @vintage.robb</em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Robert is a keen home cook, and often experiments with recipes that date back to the 1700s when not making a living selling whiskey.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ruth, a research historian, has praised their unique vintage lifestyle for having a beneficial impact on their relationship.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She said, “</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Robert and I dress like this all of the time as we are in love with the style. Robert mainly wears a suit and flat cap whereas I may wear clothing from 1930s to 1940s.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The couple is intrigued with history and have been known to turn heads on the street with their distinctive style. </span></p> <p><img style="width: 400.5145797598628px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843043/vintage-2.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7270e81a6f8241299b45f917d23d95c2" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Instagram @ladyadepha</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ruth said, “This style isn't something you could wear if you are shy as we do get stared at a lot. We don't mind at all and it's often positive feedback.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Robert said a lot of his inspiration comes from watching old films and reading old books with his grandparents as a child. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ruth said, “In our spare time, we read, talk or Robert cooks and I help. We have a few original cookbooks which are interesting from a historical point of view.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 426.497277676951px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843044/vintage-4.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d67759f81c024909bd052a62c212051a" /><br /><br /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Instagram @ladyadepha</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of Robert’s favourite dishes is Depression Era Meat Loaf from 1938, whereas Ruth likes to make Welsh cakes on a griddle. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The couple both claim that their lifestyle has had a positive impact on their lives and forces them to live in the present.  </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ruth said, “For us, this lifestyle works best and is beneficial for our relationships. It works for us as we are present in the moment as opposed to glued to Netflix or on our phones.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Instagram @ladyadepha @vintage.robb</span></em></p>

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Huge travel no-no: Woman tries to claim six resort sunbeds before 7am

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A TikTok user has angered</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">holidaymakers after dumping water bottles and towels on six vacant sunbeds at a resort in Hawaii to ‘reserve’ them before 7am. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The clip was shared by an American mother </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">impersonating people who shamelessly scatter their belongings across rows of sunbeds before walking away to return later.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The video, which has racked up over two million views, was captioned, “We all know that one person at the resort.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the video, she walks around the poolside resort area and vigorously throws her personal belongings across the lounges, as the time stamp reads 6:55am</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The video sparked a slew of angry online comments, with many people branding the poor etiquette as the ultimate holiday sin. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One person said, “I would be moving her stuff,” while another joked, “Ahh the vacation Karen.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One commenter said they would “move their stuff” if they didn't turn up after an hour, while another remarked, “I go on vacation to get away from people like this.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite the comment section being flooded with angry remarks, some people admitted they have been guilty of the same actions while on their holidays. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One person commented, “Nothing wrong with reserving a few chairs. I've done this. Early bird gets the worm - that's what you get for sleeping until 10!”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another wrote, “I think this is ok and I'm ok with other people doing it. They worked for it by waking early.”</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

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$2 ALDI dessert sends shoppers bonkers: “Absolutely divine”

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">ALDI is known for having the most delicious treats around, but its popular Choceur Chocolate has shoppers virtually running to the store. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The brand is just so good, it even won 2021’s Canstar Blue 'Most Satisfied Customer Awards' for having such delicious chocolate. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Now, ALDI fans have gone bonkers over a packet of chocolate chip cookies that cost just $1.99 at the popular supermarket.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842451/evergreen.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/17c90f0d23764b649b61bb222532072f" /></span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Facebook</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Do not buy these!!! Lol" one shopper took to Facebook to write, sharing a photo of a packet of Belmont brand Supremo Cookies. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"They are absolutely divine. Not sure if they are new but why have I not seen these before. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You won't stop at one or two.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Ignore the health star rating on the front BTW. It must be incorrect," she went on to say.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The choccy snacks are described as “indulgent dark chocolate chip cookies coated in a creamy milk chocolate.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Oh these are dangerous," one shopper responded in the original post.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another person joked: "All the calories disappear when you open the packet."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">ALDI fans have even made the bold claim that the Choceur brand of chocolate was better than Cadbury. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">TikTokker Merna shared a video of her favourite ALDI buys in August if 2020, telling fans she felt the grocery store’s chocolate was the “best kept secret”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fans were quick to bring up the $2.99 Choceur Hazelnut Creme that they said is better than the Cadbury cult favourite - Marble.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Better than Cadbury Marble and those old school seashell chocolates,” they wrote on Instagram. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

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“Did you know about this?”: Incredible Kmart hack you didn’t know you needed

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A post on TikTok has gone viral after one user shared an amazing Kmart feature that could revolutionise the way you shop online. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rangihuia Woods (@rangihuiawoods) was taken aback when she realised the retailer allowed shoppers to view a piece of furniture in their own home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By clicking “view in your space” when on a certain piece of furniture’s page, users get to see just exactly how it would fit in real life through augmented reality.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I just wanted to show you guys to see if I’m the only one who didn’t know about this,” Rangihuia said in a post.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The video showed how if a shopper went to the site and clicked on “view your space”, they would then be taken to a page that provides AR experience. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842448/evergreen-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/538b54a559444a50b346aae222ea8bc8" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The feature says that in order for it to work, users must “point your camera at the floor or the surface and move it side to side”. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The hallway table then is shown to virtually appear on her camera, inside her home so she can see how it fits into the space. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So you can use it on your phone and you can place it in your house!” she said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What the hell?!”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kmart reportedly launched the feature back in September last year. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842449/evergreen-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e5db16745800421496b63bac3710ae7b" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The retailer also launched a new chatbot called KBot Assist to answer any questions one might have about a product.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The immersive AR and AI experience was designed to bring joy and inspiration to customers’ lives,” Kmart head of digital Melissa Wong explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“With extra help from our AI chatbot personality – KBot assist – we have been able to make shopping easier for customers by sprinkling delight across the customer journey,” she added.</span></p>

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Lynne McGranger’s brutal COVID message: “Don’t be that d***head”

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Home and Away</em> star Lynne McGranger has sent a very special message to those in NSW not following the COVID-19 advice given during lockdown, as the state reaches new highs in positive cases not seen since the beginning of 2020. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a post to Instagram, Lynne shared a sign with health advice, including reminders to wash your hands, wear a mask and continue social distancing. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842426/kmart-plus-lynne-home-and-away-5.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/dd991d4706d943bb958b1c0a76a030a7" /></span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Instagram</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Lynne received a flurry of comments for the part on the sign which read: “We’re one d***head away from disaster… Don’t be that d***head.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The actress echoed the statement written on the sign, pleading with fans in the caption: “Please don’t be that d***head.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">People took to the comments to point out the comedic side of the sign, with one person writing “Gotta love Aussie PR.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another said: “That’s the campaign we need out there. I think all Aussies will listen to that.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CPr10ETsfJI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CPr10ETsfJI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Lynne McGranger (@lynnemcgranger)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Believe me Lynne, they are everywhere!” someone else wrote. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lynne shared earlier this year, in June, that she had received her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. </span></p> <p> </p>

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Australia’s oldest living Olympian turns 100

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Frank Prihoda, Australia’s oldest living Olympian, is celebrating his 100th birthday today at his home in Thredbo Village in the NSW Snowy Mountains.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Born into the Great Depression, Mr Prihoda has experienced both highs and lows across his century of life, including early tragedy, defection, emigration, running a business, and fulfilling an Olympic dream.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Prihoda was born in 1921 in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and learned to ski as a child with his older sister Sasha.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">His passion and talent saw him eventually representing a country on the other side of the world, when he competed in the 1956 Winter Olympics Games on the Australian team in the giant slalom and slalom events.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Recalling the achievement, Mr Prihoda said inadequate snow cover almost jeopardised the races, held at the Italian venue in Cortina D’Ampezzo.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Because of the lack of snow, we were concerned, would it be held?” Mr Prihoda recalled.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The day before the race, the fire brigade came to the slope and sprayed the whole mountain with water. It froze. It was like an ice-skating rink.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“As a result, a lot of racers came to grief [at] the third gate … I managed to hang on but I didn’t really measure up. I finished in the middle of the field.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Prihoda continued to ski until he was 90.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Sometimes I miss it of course,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You get these moods and think, ‘What a pity, I would love to be up there’. But it doesn’t bother me all that much now.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In his early life, Mr Prihoda faced trials off the slopes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After the unexpected deaths of his parents in 1937, Mr Prihoda, who was just 16, took over the family’s artificial flower manufacturing business and managed it through World War II.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Czechoslovakia became communist, he escaped the country on his skis, entering Austria before he and his family emigrated to Melbourne in 1950.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I knew there was snow in Australia, so I brought my skis with me,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though he started business ventures involving artificial flowers, furniture, and textiles, Mr Prihoda would take to the slopes at Mount Buller, in the Victorian Alps, when he could.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While skiing there, his talent was quickly spotted and he would eventually be selected for the 1956 Olympic team.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Years after his Olympic ventures, Mr Prihoda would move from Victoria to the NSW Snowy Mountains in 1974, as both his fellow Olympian sister and a childhood friend were already there.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My sister was a racing star in Europe,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She and her husband Karel Nekvapil opened a lodge in 1959, which is now called Black Bear Inn.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I had a close contact with Thredbo for many years before I came to settle in.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Prihoda ran a gift shop, Frank’s Store, at Thredbo for 27 years until he retired at 80.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CRCmwOPnA-s/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CRCmwOPnA-s/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Thredbo Resort (@thredboresort)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Mr Prihoda celebrates his birthday, he will be surrounded by the familiar scenery of snow and mountains.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Thredbo Resort</span></em></p>

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ALDI employee reveals shoppers’ most irritating Special Buys habit

<p>An ALDI employee has revealed the erratic customer behaviour during major Special Buy sales that irritate staff members around ther globe.</p> <p>While speaking to Insider, the worker slammed customers for the things they do when they are shopping at the German supermarket.</p> <p>The staff member sad one of their biggest contentions is when customers fail to realise Special Buys items are available for a limited amount of time.</p> <p>"It's irritating when customers come in searching for a popular Aldi Finds item weeks after it was advertised," the employee called JK said.</p> <p>"These items aren't restocked, but some customers still throw a fit or try to guilt-trip employees for not ordering enough."</p> <p>JK went on to say customers frustrate employees when they allow their children to run around unsupervised.</p> <p>"ALDI is a great place for all ages, but employees will get annoyed if you allow your kids to make a mess in the store and don't clean up after them," an employee called Bronson said.</p> <p>In May, ALDI revealed they would be testing its popular Special Buys sale by moving it online for a “limited trial” that will “test a range of products” across several months.</p> <p>"We are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience for our customers and are very excited to be taking our first steps into e-commerce," ALDI Australia group director of customer interactions Simon Padovani said.</p> <p>"Our limited initial online offer allows us to set the foundations for our future program."</p>

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Family offers $1million reward for missing heiress

<p>The family searching for the missing heiress Juanita Nielsen has offered up a $1 million reward for anyone who may have information on her disappearance.</p> <p>Juanita, who was 38 when she was seen for the last time, owned the alternative newspaper NOW which, over 46 years ago, she used to rally against developers who were wanting to build on protected heritage buildings in Potts Point.</p> <p>She also used her magazine to promote the Builders Labourers Federation’s controversial green bans during the 70s.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841997/juanita-nielsen.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/9b4f59dabe384bef9b19ee7fa5c99b52" /></p> <p>Juanita was last ever seen at the nightclub Carousel Cabaret in Kings cross on the early morning of July 4, 1975.</p> <p>The club was run by a man who allegedly had close ties to notorious underworld crime boss Abe Saffron.</p> <p>While Juanita’s family, nor investigators can confirm why she mysteriously disappeared all those years ago, her living relatives are desperate to find answers.</p> <p>It is widely believed she was kidnapped and murdered due to her anti-development and anti-corruption campaigns which she broadcasted loudly.</p> <p>A coronial inquiry in 1983 found Ms Nielson, who was also an heiress to the Mark Foy's retail empire, had likely died.</p> <p>However, what perhaps is the most shocking and mystifying part of this case, is that despite its extraordinary publicity – a body, nor more information has ever been uncovered.</p> <p>Her family say they are desperate to give Juanita a proper burial with her cousin Francis Foy appealing for any information about her suspected murder.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841996/juanita-nielsen-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8ce11450707b4a428abaf232d833c59e" /></p> <p>"Juanita was very much loved by her family and very much missed," Mr Foy said on Monday.</p> <p>"Her disappearance and the unknown of what happened to her caused incredible pain for her family."</p> <p>Homicide Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said in a statement that it was unlikely they would be able to collect any further forensic evidence or witness statements, but that hope is not lost.</p> <p>"In turn, it has also become difficult for police to target known persons of interest or associates due to their passing," he said in a statement.</p> <p>"However, it is our hope that someone in the community may have information about Juanita's disappearance, or the location of her remains."</p>

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