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Is an electric bike right for you? Here’s what to consider before you buy

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/muhammad-rizwan-azhar-1472288">Muhammad Rizwan Azhar</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/waqas-uzair-1486684">Waqas Uzair</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/oct/08/its-also-just-fun-why-a-growing-number-of-australia-families-are-ditching-cars-for-e-bikes">More Australians than ever</a> are riding electric bikes – a fact you may have noticed on the streets of our cities and towns.</p> <p>Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are typically equipped with an electric motor and a battery, providing power to help you pedal. Some allow you to boost and lower the amount of pedalling assistance you get.</p> <p>Globally, the transport sector produces <a href="https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/media_gstc/FACT_SHEET_Climate_Change.pdf">about one-quarter</a> of greenhouse gas emissions. Finding cleaner ways to get around is vital to combating the climate crisis. E-bikes also offer solutions to the problems of traffic congestion, fuel costs and sedentary lifestyles.</p> <p>But is an electric bike right for you? Below, we discuss the pros and cons, to help you decide.</p> <h2>The pros</h2> <p><strong>– Reduce carbon emissions</strong></p> <p>In developed countries, transport can be one of the largest proportions of an individual’s carbon footprint. But you can <a href="https://sustainability.anu.edu.au/options-for-owning-an-e-bike">reduce your travel emissions</a> by 75% if you replace car use with an e-bike for short trips such as the work commute.</p> <p><a href="https://www.creds.ac.uk/publications/e-bike-carbon-savings-how-much-and-where/">Research has found</a> e-bikes, if used to replace cars, could cut carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions by up to 50% in England – or about 30 million tonnes a year. Other analysis showed the potential was <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967070X21003401">greatest</a> in rural areas.</p> <p><strong>– Connect with your community</strong></p> <p>The “car-rification” of our cities changed community dynamics. Retail became concentrated in <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0264837716312479">out-of-town shopping centres</a>, leading to a decline in smaller town centres. This provided fewer opportunities to meet our neighbours and has contributed to high rates of <a href="https://www.vox.com/features/23191527/urban-planning-friendship-houston-cars-loneliness">loneliness and social isolation</a>.</p> <p>Similar to <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308794595_From_Pedal_to_People_The_Social_Effects_of_Biking">regular cycling</a>, riding e-bikes helps create community bonds. It makes us more likely to engage with our surroundings and interact with people around us. You can even join an <a href="https://www.meetup.com/topics/electric-bicycles/au/">e-bike group</a> or community ride.</p> <p><strong>– Save money</strong></p> <p>E-bikes offer substantial long-term financial benefits to owners.</p> <p>In Australia, an e-bike costs from about A$1,000 to more than $5,000. An annual e-bike service will set you back <a href="https://www.choice.com.au/transport/bikes/electric/articles/how-to-maintain-your-electric-bike#:%7E:text=How%20much%20does%20an%20e,%24300%2C%20depending%20on%20what's%20included.">between $100 and $300</a>. And retailers <a href="https://crooze.com.au/blogs/news/the-costs-of-owning-an-ebike#:%7E:text=This%20means%20it%20costs%20roughly,electricity%20charges%20per%2030kms%20ridden.">currently</a> <a href="https://www.glowwormbicycles.com.au/blogs/electric-bikes/how-much-should-i-spend-on-an-e-bike">put the cost</a> of a full battery charge at 10–15 cents, translating to roughly $20 per year for an average commuter.</p> <p>Cars, of course, cost far more to run. For example, Victorian motoring body RACV <a href="https://www.racv.com.au/about-racv/newsroom/victorias-cheapest-cars-2023.html">last year found</a> the state’s cheapest car to own and operate was the MG3 Core light Hatch, with monthly costs of $734.84. Even taking into account charging costs and maintenance, you can see how quickly an e-bike would pay for itself.</p> <p><strong>– Get active</strong></p> <p>E-bikes are clearly better for your health than riding in a car.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9790588/">2019 study investigated</a> e‐bike commuting for inactive, overweight people living in regional Australia. It found e-bike users increased their physical activity by an average 90 minutes a week.</p> <p>A <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/sms.14155">literature review in 2022</a> found e-biking was a moderately intense physical activity on measures such as energy expenditure, heart rate and oxygen consumption. The benefits were lower than conventional cycling, but generally greater than walking.</p> <p>Women, in particular, have reported benefits from e-bike use. A <a href="https://activetravelstudies.org/article/id/991/">New Zealand study</a> showed e-bikes provided less fit women with “more empowering physical activity experiences” and increased their cycling confidence.</p> <h2>The cons</h2> <p><strong>– Safety challenges</strong></p> <p>Like any form of mobility, e-bikes must be used safely. Concerns around e-bikes include <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-13/fat-bike-boom-in-sydney-sparks-safety-fears/102823330">speeding</a>, <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/concerns-grow-over-safety-of-e-bikes-amid-reports-of-accidents-192619077845">accidents</a> and people riding <a href="https://www.nbnnews.com.au/2024/03/20/e-bike-safety-concerns-spark-in-lennox-head/">without helmets</a>.</p> <p>In May this year, Sydney’s Northern Beaches Council <a href="https://www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/e-bike-and-e-scooter-safety">launched a public awareness</a> campaign on e-bike safety. <a href="https://www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/council/news/media-releases/northern-beaches-council-leads-pack-e-bike-safety-campaign">The advice includes</a>:</p> <ul> <li>slow to walking pace when others are on the path</li> <li>ring your bell to signal your approach</li> <li>be ready for sudden changes.</li> </ul> <p>Government regulation on e-bikes is also important for public safety. For example <a href="https://fit-ebike.com/en-en/about-us/blog/s-pedelecs/">in Germany</a>, high-speed e-bikes are classed as mopeds and cannot be ridden on bike paths.</p> <p>Separately, e-bikes usually contain lithium-ion batteries which can explode and start fires – particularly in e-bikes bought from overseas retailers that don’t meet Australian standards. Before buying, <a href="https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=9406">check advice from fire authorities</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/U58Pv7-7fnE?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p><strong>– Lack of cycling and charging infrastructure</strong></p> <p>Well-designed <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140519301033">cycling infrastructure</a> encourages e-bike use. In Australia, governments are <a href="https://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-06/Cycling_Infrastructure_Background_Paper_16Mar09_WEB.pdf">slowly accepting</a> the need for infrastructure such as dedicated bike lanes and <a href="https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/get-nsw-active/emicro-smart-micro-mobility-infrastructure">charging stations</a>, but <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-do-so-few-people-cycle-for-transport-in-australia-6-ideas-on-how-to-reap-all-the-benefits-of-bikes-229811">more money</a> is needed.</p> <p>In the Netherlands, a surge in e-bike sales has <a href="https://www.government.nl/topics/bicycles">driven</a> investments in cycling paths, improvements in bicycle parking at train stations, and other efforts to promote cycling and e-bike use.</p> <p><strong>– Higher upfront cost than a regular bike</strong></p> <p>The cost of buying an e-bike can be a barrier for some. For example, <a href="https://activetravelstudies.org/article/id/991/">NZ-based research</a> found the purchase cost meant the benefits were less likely to be available to lower-income women.</p> <p>So how can the cost barrier be overcome? In Australia, some companies offer e-bike rentals, via a weekly <a href="https://lug-carrie.com">subscription service</a>. And overseas, <a href="https://www.pbsc.com/blog/2021/09/pbsc-e-bike-sharing-schemes-in-15-cities-around-the-world">share schemes</a> mean people can access e-bikes without having to buy one.</p> <p>In 2023, <a href="https://www.service.tas.gov.au/services/government-help-and-support/concessions-and-discounts/apply-for-an-electric-vehicle-or-e-mobility-rebate">Tasmania became the first Australian state</a> to offer a subsidy for e-bike purchases, and the uptake was rapid. However, the scheme has now closed.</p> <p><strong>– Environmental impacts</strong></p> <p>Almost everything we buy has an environmental impact, and electric bikes are no exception. However, they are obviously a better alternative to conventional cars – and also have less impact than electric vehicles.</p> <p>Over the total lifecycle of the product, including manufacturing, an e-bike emits <a href="https://ecf.com/resources/cycling-facts-and-figures/environmental">about 10%</a> of the CO₂ emissions associated with producing an electric car, according to the European Cyclists Federation. And e-bikes <a href="https://electrek.co/2023/05/04/you-cant-trust-electric-bike-companies-battery-range/">consume</a> about <a href="https://ebikes.ca/learn/solar.html#:%7E:text=6%20wh%2Fkm%20would%20be,heavy%20loads%20and%20riding%20fast.">15 watt-hours per kilometre</a>, compared to electric cars which <a href="https://www.drive.com.au/caradvice/what-is-a-good-energy-consumption-figure-for-electric-vehicles/">consume around</a> 150 to 200 watt-hours per kilometre.</p> <p>E-bike battery systems also typically require fewer raw materials and simpler design than an electric vehicle, which <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0892687524000293">simplifies</a> the battery recycling process.</p> <h2>Cleaner, cheaper, better</h2> <p>Electric cars are crucial for replacing traditional vehicles on longer routes and for family travel. However, e-bikes offer a more affordable and lower-impact solution for commuting and short-distance travel – and if you buy a cargo e-bike, you can even take your family.</p> <p>Mass adoption of e-bikes in Australia requires better cycling infrastructure, new government regulation and price incentives. But in the meantime, thousands of Australians are already enjoying the benefits of e-bikes. Perhaps you could too?</p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/muhammad-rizwan-azhar-1472288">Muhammad Rizwan Azhar</a>, Lecturer of Chemical Engineering, Sustainable Energy and Resources, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/waqas-uzair-1486684">Waqas Uzair</a>, Research Associate, Advanced Battery Systems and Safety, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan 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/is-an-electric-bike-right-for-you-heres-what-to-consider-before-you-buy-230024">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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"Lucky to be here": Gordon Ramsay reveals brutal injury after bike crash

<p>Gordon Ramsay has been left shaken after a bicycle crash left him in need of trauma surgery. </p> <p>The celebrity chef took to social media on Sunday to tell fans that he had been in an accident while biking in Connecticut US early last week.</p> <p>"This week I had a really bad accident while riding my bike in Connecticut. I'm doing ok and did not break any bones or suffer any major injuries but I am a bit bruised up looking like a purple potato," he wrote in the caption of the one minute-clip. </p> <p>In the video, he said that the accident "shook" him and added" Honestly, I'm lucky to be here.'</p> <p>Ramsay showed the horrific bruise covering his torso and stressed on the importance of wearing a helmet. </p> <p>"Those incredible trauma surgeons, doctors, nurses, who looked after me this week, they were amazing but honestly you've got to wear a helmet," he said.</p> <p>"I don't care how short the journey is, I don't care [about] the fact that these helmets cost money, but they're crucial. Even with the kids, or a short journey."</p> <p>He also shared a before and after photo of his cycling gear, with parts of his helmet broken and his clothing ripped. </p> <p>"Now, I'm lucky to be standing here. I'm in pain, it's been a brutal week, and I'm sort of getting through it," he said. </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/C8PYfVNxxFC/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C8PYfVNxxFC/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Gordon Ramsay (@gordongram)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The comment section was flooded with messages of support and well-wishes from concerned fans. </p> <p>"I thought it might have been a small crash but my god that bruise says otherwise! Glad you’re doing okay," wrote one fan. </p> <p>"The way my heart sank when you lifted your shirt," added another.</p> <p>"The world needs you chef!! Beyond happy to hear you are going to be okay, and thank God for that helmet! Happy Father's Day and speedy recovery goat!!"</p> <p>"Glad you're ok and hope you heal up quick!" added another. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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Boomers vs. Bikers: Teens and elderly residents face off over bike rules

<p>A tense intergenerational argument has broken out in Sydney's Northern Beaches, as a group of seniors stopped two teenagers from riding their electric bikes on a footpath. </p> <p>The incident was captured on camera by a bystander and uploaded to social media with the caption, "Battle of the beaches. E-bikes vs. elderly", before quickly going viral. </p> <p>The video shows elderly man and woman standing outside a dental centre in the suburb of Mona Vale, stopping the youths from riding any further and are seen holding the bike as the teens appear to argue for their release.</p> <p>After the video garnered much attention, hundreds of people shared their thoughts on who was in the right. </p> <p>Many appear to have taken the side of the senior citizens, but in this case, with the teen’s ages not immediately clear, both parties could have a case. </p> <p>According to the<a title="www.nsw.gov.au" href="https://www.nsw.gov.au/driving-boating-and-transport/roads-safety-and-rules/bicycle-safety-and-rules/cyclist-road-rules#:~:text=Riding%20on%20a%20footpath,under%20the%20age%20of%2016"> New South Wales Government</a>, cyclists (on both pedal or electric bikes) are not allowed to ride on a footpath. However, children under 16 can ride on the footpath unless there is a “NO BICYCLES” sign. </p> <p>In the comment section, plenty of arguments backed the case of the seniors. </p> <p>“Elderly are right; it’s a footpath, it’s dangerous. Annoying they drive fast,” one wrote.</p> <p>Another said: “Look I don’t know what happened, but yesterday (kids) similar to these guys were zooming on an E-bike at a dog park, almost hit us, no bells or anything and off the path. If you have these, just stay on the road.”</p> <p>Others, however, were quick to side with the teens, as one person wrote, “Entitled old people thinking they are the police.”</p> <p>Another added, “Boomers need to admit they are bored and have nothing to do.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

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E-scooter hit and run victim embraced by Magpies club

<p>In a heartwarming display of community and sportsmanship, the Collingwood AFL club has come together to support a cherished fan, 81-year-old Jessie Hatch, after a distressing e-scooter incident following the Collingwood-Carlton game two weeks ago.</p> <p>Jessie, a lifelong devotee of the Magpies, was leaving the Melbourne Cricket Ground when she was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/such-a-cowardly-thing-police-hunt-after-e-scooter-hit-and-run-on-81-year-old-woman" target="_blank" rel="noopener">struck by an e-scooter</a> in what she described from the hospital afterwards as "such a cowardly thing".</p> <p>In a touching twist, it was a member of the rival Carlton cheer squad who first rushed to her aid. Reflecting on the incident, Jessie <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/great-grandmother-embraced-by-beloved-magpies-after-ugly-escooter-incident/73445ba6-69f0-4954-8984-cc3109e3de30" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recounted to 9News</a>, "Apparently I passed out and they couldn't get a pulse or a heartbeat and I came around finally with someone screaming my name and telling me to wake up and also my son was so distressed."</p> <p>Jessie's son, Greg, expressed his confidence in his mother’s resilience. "She was born in Carlton - she won't admit that - but she was raised in Collingwood . . . So they build them a bit different when they're raised in Collingwood. Tougher than any of us."</p> <p>Despite her injuries, Jessie’s spirit remains unbroken. Dressed proudly in her Magpies jumper, she recently attended a training session where she was warmly welcomed and embraced by the players. </p> <p>The club’s support has been a balm for Jessie. "This is just amazing," she beamed. True to her unwavering dedication, she declared, "I'm going to the game on Saturday. That won't keep me away."</p> <p>In an inspiring gesture of goodwill, Jessie also plans to set aside traditional rivalries to visit Princes Park and thank the Blues fan who helped her. </p> <p>Meanwhile, police have alleged that the e-scooter rider intentionally knocked Jessie down. To that end, a 46-year-old man remains in custody, with his next court appearance scheduled for May 22.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine News | Seven News<br /></em></p>

Caring

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“Such a cowardly thing”: Police hunt after e-scooter hit-and-run on 81-year-old woman

<p>Victoria Police have released an image of a man wanted in connection to an alleged attack on at 81-year-old outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground after an AFL game last Friday. </p> <p>Jessie Hatch, 81, was walking towards Jolimont Railway Station around 11pm when she was confronted by a man on an e-scooter, who told her to “move off the footpath”.</p> <p>Hatch then "explained that the footpath is not for vehicles and walked around him”, prompting the man to ride off, but he quickly turned around before allegedly hitting her from behind, causing her to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.</p> <p>According to Victoria Police, the rider allegedly did not stop to assist Hatch, and was unsuccessfully chased by a passerby.</p> <p>He was last seen heading west from the Swan Street Bridge.</p> <p>“She walked between 7-10m away and this guy’s doubled back and then smashed her from behind,” Jessie's son Ken told <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/mans-words-to-elderly-collingwood-fan-jessie-hatch-before-allegedly-hitting-her-with-e-scooter-in-mcg-hit-and-run-c-14571902" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a>.</p> <p>“Apparently she stopped breathing for 20 seconds or so, that’s what we heard.”</p> <p>Jessie is still in hospital recovering with five stitches in her hand and undergoing more tests on her spine to see if there is permanent damage.</p> <p>“Such a cowardly thing, I don’t know what would have gone into his head to do that,” Jessie told <em>7News</em> from her hospital bed.</p> <p>“Why would somebody do that? He should be ashamed of himself.”</p> <p>Police are investigating the incident, with Ken calling on the alleged perpetrator to come forward.</p> <p>“You made a mistake, you did something wrong, come forward,” he added.</p> <p>The man allegedly involved in the incident was of average height and had fair skin and a stocky build, with straight blonde/brown hair and grey/blue eyes.</p> <div> </div> <p>He was wearing thick-lensed glasses and a red jacket made of a shiny, waterproof material.</p> <p>Jessie’s story quickly gained attention around the AFL world, and Collingwood legend Peter Daicos was among those to offer his support.</p> <p>“I wanted to reach out, I heard about the incident after the game,” he said.</p> <p>“I hope you’re feeling better and I’m really looking forward to hearing that you’re back at the Collingwood games.</p> <p>“All the best from not just myself, but the boys and importantly the Collingwood Football Club. All our love, get well soon.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News</em></p> <div class="hide-print ad-no-notice css-qyun7f-StyledAdUnitWrapper ezkyf1c0" style="box-sizing: border-box; caret-color: #292a33; color: #292a33; font-family: HeyWow, Montserrat, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"> </div>

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Sir Richard Branson in serious bike crash

<p>Richard Branson, the adventurous billionaire and founder of Virgin Group, is no stranger to pushing the limits. However, his latest escapade – a biking mishap on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands – left him with shocking injuries, adding to a long list of near-death experiences throughout his life.</p> <p>In a recent Instagram post, Branson shared the aftermath of his bike crash, recounting how he flew off his bike after hitting a pothole on the picturesque island.</p> <p>The accident resulted in severe cuts on his elbow and a haematoma on his hip. Remarkably, despite the intensity of the crash, Branson escaped without any broken bones, though the same could not be said for his biking companion, Alex Wilson, who also took a spill but thankfully emerged relatively unscathed.</p> <p>"Took quite a big tumble while cycling in Virgin Gorda a little while ago!" Branson wrote. "I hit a pothole and crashed hard, resulting in another hematoma on my hip and a nasty cut elbow, but amazingly nothing broken.</p> <p>"We were cycling with Alex Wilson, who fell after me, but thankfully he was ok as well. I’m counting myself very lucky, and thankful for keeping myself active and healthy."</p> <p> </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/C3OP6hBMP7B/?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/C3OP6hBMP7B/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Richard Branson (@richardbranson)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>This incident is just the latest in a series of biking accidents for Branson. In 2018, during an endurance charity race, he feared he had broken his back after another biking mishap. Similarly, in 2016, while cycling with his children in the British Virgin Islands, he had a terrifying headfirst collision with the road, leaving him fearing for his life.</p> <p>Branson's penchant for adventure has led him into numerous dangerous situations over the years. From surviving a sinking fishing boat during his honeymoon to crash-landing a microlight aircraft he didn't know how to fly, his life reads like a catalogue of adrenalin-fuelled escapades. Even the inaugural test flight of Virgin Atlantic in 1984 wasn't without drama, as an engine exploded mid-air.</p> <p>Skydiving accidents, near misses with hot air balloons, and daring stunts like wing-walking on a Virgin Atlantic plane or jumping off the Palms Casino in Las Vegas further illustrate Branson's willingness to embrace risk in pursuit of thrills.</p> <p>Despite the multitude of close calls, Branson maintains a resilient spirit, viewing each brush with danger as an opportunity for growth and appreciation for life. His Instagram post following the bike crash in Virgin Gorda captures this sentiment, as he reflects on his luck and gratitude for staying active and healthy.</p> <p>For Branson, it appears that the thrill of the unknown far outweighs the comfort of caution. As he aptly puts it, "After all, the brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all."</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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Tourist slapped with a fine while in a coma

<p dir="ltr">An American tourist has been slapped with a fine while fighting for his life in a coma, after being involved in a devastating collision. </p> <p dir="ltr">Rod and Barbara Maroney, an elderly couple from Phoenix, Arizona, were holidaying in Sydney and strolling down George Street, when Rod was hit by an e-bike riding down light rail tracks. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 64-year-old retired aerospace engineer was crossing the light rail tracks in September 2023 and did not see the electric vehicle coming, with the collision causing him to fly into the air.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rod had to undergo emergency brain surgery from his injuries and then spent the subsequent weeks in a coma. </p> <p dir="ltr">Even now, in the weeks after the accident, Rod is still struggling to recover.</p> <p dir="ltr">As the 64-year-old recovered in St Vincent’s hospital, Barbara was shocked to see a fine for $86 being shoved into the letterbox of her AirBnb by NSW police.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the fact that E-bikes are not permitted on the footpaths of Sydney’s CBD, and are also banned on the light rail corridors, Mr Maroney was the one who was slapped with the fine. </p> <p dir="ltr">The letter stated that Rod had committed the offence of “moving into rider’s path”, despite the fact that riding a bike along light rail tracks is not permitted, NSW Transport confirmed.</p> <p dir="ltr">Barbara, who is a semi-retired lawyer herself, decided to get the help from a lawyer who contested the fine, and as a result, it was withdrawn.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Him serving me while my husband is in the hospital in a coma was outrageous,” she told <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/ebike-rules-regulations-in-australia-tourist-fined-coma-sydney/f4f8fcde-1698-4aa6-a1b6-a30d6a1910d0">9News</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In the US, that would not be good service of process because my husband never lived at the Airbnb.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“If he really wanted to serve the citation, he should’ve gone to the hospital and dropped it in my husband’s unconscious lap, I guess.”</p> <p dir="ltr">After their ordeal, the couple wants authorities to take action over e-bikes in Sydney.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We shed a lot of tears at night together, both of us grieving for our loss of the man he was,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Why is Sydney’s council allowing silent, deadly bikes? Given the speed of the bike, Rod could have been killed.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Why are e-bikes not regulated like vehicles?”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: 9News</em></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-351f33a9-7fff-f7ec-f7a1-5efccc27e302"></span></p>

Travel Trouble

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Treadmill, exercise bike, rowing machine: what’s the best option for cardio at home?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lewis-ingram-1427671">Lewis Ingram</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-bennett-1053061">Hunter Bennett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/saravana-kumar-181105">Saravana Kumar</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p>Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, refers to any form of rhythmic physical activity that increases your heart rate and breathing so the heart and lungs can deliver oxygen to the working muscles. Essentially, it’s the type of exercise that gets you huffing and puffing – and fills many people with dread.</p> <p>People often do cardio to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30003901/">lose weight</a>, but it’s associated with a variety of health benefits including reducing the risk of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6481017/">heart disease</a>, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30191075/">stroke</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27707740/">falls</a>. Research shows cardio also improves <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29334638/">cognitive function</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26978184/">mental health</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity">World Health Organization</a> recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio per week.</p> <p>There are many ways to do cardio, from playing a team sport, to riding your bike to work, to going for a jog. If you’re willing and able to invest in a piece of equipment, you can also do cardio at home.</p> <p>The treadmill, stationary bike and rowing machine are the most popular pieces of cardio equipment you’ll find in a typical gym, and you can buy any of these for your home too. Here’s how to know which one is best for you.</p> <h2>The treadmill</h2> <p>In terms of effectiveness of exercise, it’s hard to look past the treadmill. Running uses most of your major muscle groups and therefore leads to greater increases in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1334197/">heart rate</a> and energy expenditure compared to other activities, such as cycling.</p> <p>As a bonus, since running on a treadmill requires you to support your own body weight, it also helps to build and maintain <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26562001/">your bones</a>, keeping them strong. This becomes even more important <a href="https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/exercise-your-bone-health">as you get older</a> as the risk of developing medical conditions such as osteopenia and osteoporosis – where the density of your bones is reduced – increases.</p> <p>But the treadmill may not be for everyone. The weight-bearing nature of running may exacerbate pain and cause swelling in people with common joint conditions such as osteoarthritis.</p> <p>Also, a treadmill is likely to require greater maintenance (since most treadmills are motorised), and can take up a lot of space.</p> <h2>Stationary bike</h2> <p>The stationary bike provides another convenient means to hit your cardio goals. Setting the bike up correctly is crucial to ensure you are comfortable and to reduce the risk of injury. A general rule of thumb is that you want a slight bend in your knee, as in the picture below, when your leg is at the bottom of the pedal stroke.</p> <p>While cycling has significant benefits for <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21496106/">cardiovascular</a> and metabolic health, since it’s non-weight-bearing it doesn’t benefit your <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0026049507003253">bones</a> to the same extent as walking and running. On the flipside, it offers a great cardio workout without stressing your joints.</p> <h2>Rowing machine</h2> <p>If you’re looking to the get the best cardio workout in the least amount of time, the rowing machine might be for you. Because rowing requires you to use all of your major muscle groups including the upper body, your heart and lungs have to work even harder than they do when <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32627051/">running and cycling</a> to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8325720/">deliver oxygen</a> to those working muscles. This means the energy expended while rowing is comparable to running and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3193864/">greater than cycling</a>.</p> <p>But before you rush off to buy a new rower, there are two issues to consider. First, the technical challenge of rowing is arguably greater than that of running or cycling, as the skill of rowing is often less familiar to the average person. While a coach or trainer can help with this, just remember a good rowing technique should be felt primarily in your legs, not your arms and back.</p> <p>Second, the non-weight-bearing nature of rowing means it misses out on the same bone health benefits offered by the treadmill – although there is some evidence it still can increase bone density <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7551766/">to a smaller degree</a>. Nevertheless, like cycling, this drawback of rowing may be negated by offering a more joint-friendly option, providing a great alternative for those with joint pain who still want to keep their heart and lungs healthy.</p> <h2>So, what’s the best option?</h2> <p>It depends on your goals, what your current health status is, and, most importantly, what you enjoy the most. The best exercise is the one that gets done. So, choose whichever piece of equipment you find the most enjoyable, as this will increase the likelihood you’ll stick to it in the long term.<!-- 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/213352/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/lewis-ingram-1427671"><em>Lewis Ingram</em></a><em>, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-bennett-1053061">Hunter Bennett</a>, Lecturer in Exercise Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/saravana-kumar-181105">Saravana Kumar</a>, Professor in Allied Health and Health Services Research, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South 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/treadmill-exercise-bike-rowing-machine-whats-the-best-option-for-cardio-at-home-213352">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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ChatGPT, DALL-E 2 and the collapse of the creative process

<p>In 2022, OpenAI – one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence research laboratories – released the text generator <a href="https://chat.openai.com/chat">ChatGPT</a> and the image generator <a href="https://openai.com/dall-e-2/">DALL-E 2</a>. While both programs represent monumental leaps in natural language processing and image generation, they’ve also been met with apprehension. </p> <p>Some critics have <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2022/12/chatgpt-ai-writing-college-student-essays/672371/">eulogized the college essay</a>, while others have even <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/02/technology/ai-artificial-intelligence-artists.html">proclaimed the death of art</a>. </p> <p>But to what extent does this technology really interfere with creativity? </p> <p>After all, for the technology to generate an image or essay, a human still has to describe the task to be completed. The better that description – the more accurate, the more detailed – the better the results. </p> <p>After a result is generated, some further human tweaking and feedback may be needed – touching up the art, editing the text or asking the technology to create a new draft in response to revised specifications. Even the DALL-E 2 art piece that recently won first prize in the Colorado State Fair’s digital arts competition <a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/artificial-intelligence-art-wins-colorado-state-fair-180980703/">required a great deal of human “help”</a> – approximately 80 hours’ worth of tweaking and refining the descriptive task needed to produce the desired result.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Today's moody <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AIart?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AIart</a> style is...</p> <p>🖤 deep blacks<br />↘️ angular light<br />🧼 clean lines<br />🌅 long shadows</p> <p>More in thread, full prompts in [ALT] text! <a href="https://t.co/tUV0ZfQyYb">pic.twitter.com/tUV0ZfQyYb</a></p> <p>— Guy Parsons (@GuyP) <a href="https://twitter.com/GuyP/status/1612539185214234624?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 9, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>It could be argued that by being freed from the tedious execution of our ideas – by focusing on just having ideas and describing them well to a machine – people can let the technology do the dirty work and can spend more time inventing.</p> <p>But in our work as philosophers at <a href="https://www.umb.edu/ethics">the Applied Ethics Center at University of Massachusetts Boston</a>, we have written about <a href="https://doi.org/10.1515/mopp-2021-0026">the effects of AI on our everyday decision-making</a>, <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429470325-28/owning-future-work-alec-stubbs">the future of work</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s43681-022-00245-6">worker attitudes toward automation</a>.</p> <p>Leaving aside the very real ramifications of <a href="https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-12-21/artificial-intelligence-artists-stability-ai-digital-images">robots displacing artists who are already underpaid</a>, we believe that AI art devalues the act of artistic creation for both the artist and the public.</p> <h2>Skill and practice become superfluous</h2> <p>In our view, the desire to close the gap between ideation and execution is a chimera: There’s no separating ideas and execution. </p> <p>It is the work of making something real and working through its details that carries value, not simply that moment of imagining it. Artistic works are lauded not merely for the finished product, but for the struggle, the playful interaction and the skillful engagement with the artistic task, all of which carry the artist from the moment of inception to the end result.</p> <p>The focus on the idea and the framing of the artistic task amounts to <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-paul-mccartneys-the-lyrics-can-teach-us-about-harnessing-our-creativity-170987">the fetishization of the creative moment</a>.</p> <p>Novelists write and rewrite the chapters of their manuscripts. Comedians “write on stage” in response to the laughs and groans of their audience. Musicians tweak their work in response to a discordant melody as they compose a piece.</p> <p>In fact, the process of execution is a gift, allowing artists to become fully immersed in a task and a practice. It allows them to enter <a href="https://www.harpercollins.com/products/flow-mihaly-csikszentmihalyi?variant=32118048686114">what some psychologists call the “flow” state</a>, where they are wholly attuned to something that they are doing, unaware of the passage of time and momentarily freed from the boredom or anxieties of everyday life.</p> <p>This playful state is something that would be a shame to miss out on. <a href="https://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/?id=p073182">Play tends to be understood as an autotelic activity</a> – a term derived from the Greek words auto, meaning “self,” and telos meaning “goal” or “end.” As an autotelic activity, play is done for itself – it is self-contained and requires no external validation. </p> <p>For the artist, the process of artistic creation is an integral part, maybe even the greatest part, of their vocation.</p> <p>But there is no flow state, no playfulness, without engaging in skill and practice. And the point of ChatGPT and DALL-E is to make this stage superfluous.</p> <h2>A cheapened experience for the viewer</h2> <p>But what about the perspective of those experiencing the art? Does it really matter how the art is produced if the finished product elicits delight? </p> <p>We think that it does matter, particularly because the process of creation adds to the value of art for the people experiencing it as much as it does for the artists themselves.</p> <p>Part of the experience of art is knowing that human effort and labor has gone into the work. Flow states and playfulness notwithstanding, art is the result of skillful and rigorous expression of human capabilities. </p> <p>Recall <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUOlnvGpcbs">the famous scene</a> from the 1997 film “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119177/">Gattaca</a>,” in which a pianist plays a haunting piece. At the conclusion of his performance, he throws his gloves into the admiring audience, which sees that the pianist has 12 fingers. They now understand that he was genetically engineered to play the transcendent piece they just heard – and that he could not play it with the 10 fingers of a mere mortal. </p> <p>Does that realization retroactively change the experience of listening? Does it take away any of the awe? </p> <p><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/04/the-case-against-perfection/302927/">As the philosopher Michael Sandel notes</a>: Part of what gives art and athletic achievement its power is the process of witnessing natural gifts playing out. People enjoy and celebrate this talent because, in a fundamental way, it represents the paragon of human achievement – the amalgam of talent and work, human gifts and human sweat.</p> <h2>Is it all doom and gloom?</h2> <p>Might ChatGPT and DALL-E be worth keeping around? </p> <p>Perhaps. These technologies could serve as catalysts for creativity. It’s possible that the link between ideation and execution can be sustained if these AI applications are simply viewed as mechanisms for creative imagining – <a href="https://openai.com/blog/dall-e-2-extending-creativity/">what OpenAI calls</a> “extending creativity.” They can generate stimuli that allow artists to engage in more imaginative thinking about their own process of conceiving an art piece. </p> <p>Put differently, if ChatGPT and DALL-E are the end results of the artistic process, something meaningful will be lost. But if they are merely tools for fomenting creative thinking, this might be less of a concern. </p> <p>For example, a game designer could ask DALL-E to provide some images about what a Renaissance town with a steampunk twist might look like. A writer might ask about descriptors that capture how a restrained, shy person expresses surprise. Both creators could then incorporate these suggestions into their work. </p> <p>But in order for what they are doing to still count as art – in order for it to feel like art to the artists and to those taking in what they have made – the artists would still have to do the bulk of the artistic work themselves. </p> <p>Art requires makers to keep making.</p> <h2>The warped incentives of the internet</h2> <p>Even if AI systems are used as catalysts for creative imaging, we believe that people should be skeptical of what these systems are drawing from. It’s important to pay close attention to the incentives that underpin and reward artistic creation, particularly online.</p> <p>Consider the generation of AI art. These works draw on images and video that <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/12/when-ai-can-make-art-what-does-it-mean-for-creativity-dall-e-midjourney">already exist</a> online. But the AI is not sophisticated enough – nor is it incentivized – to consider whether works evoke a sense of wonder, sadness, anxiety and so on. They are not capable of factoring in aesthetic considerations of novelty and cross-cultural influence. </p> <p>Rather, training ChatGPT and DALL-E on preexisting measurements of artistic success online will tend to replicate the dominant incentives of the internet’s largest platforms: <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/josp.12489">grabbing and retaining attention</a> for the sake of data collection and user engagement. The catalyst for creative imagining therefore can easily become subject to an addictiveness and attention-seeking imperative rather than more transcendent artistic values.</p> <p>It’s possible that artificial intelligence is at a precipice, one that evokes a sense of “<a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/04/the-case-against-perfection/302927/">moral vertigo</a>” – the uneasy dizziness people feel when scientific and technological developments outpace moral understanding. Such vertigo can lead to apathy and detachment from creative expression. </p> <p>If human labor is removed from the process, what value does creative expression hold? Or perhaps, having opened Pandora’s box, this is an indispensable opportunity for humanity to reassert the value of art – and to push back against a technology that may prevent many real human artists from thriving.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/chatgpt-dall-e-2-and-the-collapse-of-the-creative-process-196461" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Art

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Crackdown on vapes after state records shocking number of toddlers smoking

<p dir="ltr">Victoria has recorded an alarming number of toddlers ingesting nicotine from vapes.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the last year, Health Minister Mark Butler said that 50 children under four were recorded vaping, and that it is now the biggest behavioural issue in primary schools across the country.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The Victorian poisons hotline has reported that in the last 12 months, more than 50 children under the age of four have had to be reported to the hotline because of the dangerous ingestion of nicotine,” Butler told <em>ABC Radio</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is now the biggest behavioural issue in primary schools,” he added.</p> <p dir="ltr">Health ministers across the country are looking for ways to implement greater import and enforcement controls after the use of vapes has exploded in recent years, despite current regulations.</p> <p dir="ltr">Last year, a new rule was enforced where nicotine vapes were only available with a prescription. However a black market has emerged, and this market primarily targets children.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is an industry shamelessly marketing, not just to teenagers but to young children. When you look at these things, pink unicorns and bubblegum flavours aren’t marketed to adults,” Butler said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Health Minister also added that the multi-million dollar industry is threatening to undo all the hard work dedicated to phase out smoking.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is an industry that is trying to create a new generation of nicotine addicts so they get around all of the hard work our country and other countries have done over recent decades to stamp out smoking,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Butler used the example of a “very young” child who had been found with an “insidious” vape in her pencil case, in an attempt to disguise it as a highlighter.</p> <p dir="ltr">Earlier this month footage of an <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/jail-them-fury-after-baby-forced-to-vape-while-family-laughs" target="_blank" rel="noopener">11-month-old baby boy smoking a vape</a> went viral, when the distressed child was seen struggling for air as his teenage mother laughed at him.</p> <p dir="ltr">Butler said that when it comes to cracking down on the industry, “all options were on the table,” including better import and sales control.</p> <p dir="ltr">Butler refuses to normalise e-cigarettes, something that has been proposed by David Littleproud, the leader of the Nationals party.</p> <p dir="ltr">Butler said: “We can’t just say oh, well, it’s all too hard, let’s just normalise it because we know why these products exist”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“These products are pushed so hard by the tobacco industry because they want to create a pathway back to cigarettes.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Butler also cited research that showed that those who vape are three times as likely to take up cigarettes.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty, Facebook</em></p>

Caring

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“SO PROUD OF YOU”: Nicole Kidman’s niece lands major TV gig

<p>Lucia Hawley, Nicole Kidman’s niece, has just landed a major presenting role after years of “working towards” a career in TV journalism.</p> <p>Lucia, 24, is also the daughter of TV presenter Antonia Kidman and was announced as the new face of Live From E!, hosting red carpets with stars across the country on the new 7Bravo channel.</p> <p>Despite her celebrity connections, the 24-year-old has expressed she’s “no nepo-baby,” sharing that she has been “working towards" becoming a full-time TV presenter for years.</p> <p>“I am so lucky to have them both as role models — not only are they amazing at their jobs, but they also have a really strong sense of self and are very intellectual as well,” She told the <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/lucia-hawley-says-shes-lucky-to-have-mum-antonia-and-aunt-nicole-kidman-as-role-models/news-story/b83c3b48554c9b69f630aff63007d212" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Daily Telegraph</a>, referring to her mum and aunt.</p> <p>“Having a mum who had been in the industry, through osmosis you gain that perspective and understanding and I think that’s been one of the biggest things that has helped in preparing me for this role, just having watched her and how she has carried herself through everything.</p> <p>“This is honestly like a dream come true. I always wanted to present and red carpets are naturally what I gravitate towards, so it came about pretty serendipitously.”</p> <p>Lucia shared the news on social media, writing, “Secret is finally out! I’m so excited to announce that I am the local host of @7Bravoau and the new face of Australia’s Live From E! red carpet coverage. Still pinching myself!”</p> <p>Friends and fans flocked to the comments to congratulate Lucia on the next step in her career.</p> <p>“SO PROUD OF YOU LUC!!!! You’re going to absolutely thrive,” one commented.</p> <p>“Thrilled to bits for you,” another said.</p> <p>Lucia has previously interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the ARIAS and the Logies for Channel 9. She is also very into fashion, which is reflected in her online posts.</p> <p>In 2022, she shared several images of her from the Logies, wearing a patent pink sleeveless gown.</p> <p>At the 2018 ARIAS, Lucia walked the red carpet accompanied by her aunt and Keith Urban.</p> <p>Nicole Kidman marked the occasion, sharing a sweet snap on Instagram of her and Lucia embraced in a hug.</p> <p>“Going to the #ARIAs with my niece, we’re so excited to see Keith hosting!” Nicole captioned the image.</p> <p>Image credit: Instagram</p>

TV

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“Fun until it wasn’t”: Grant Denyer takes smiling selfie moments before disaster

<p>Former <em>Sunrise</em> presenter Grant Denyer has taken to Instagram to report that he was involved in a disastrous biking accident.</p> <p>Grant, who has been training ahead of the 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour race this weekend, was with friend and training partner Mick when they ran into trouble. </p> <p>Despite dubbing the incident a “huge stack”, it seems no real injury was sustained, with Denyer’s sharing a light hearted take with his 408k followers. </p> <p>“No joke, 2 mins after this photo we had a huge stack doing wheelies and clipping handlebars,” he captioned the image. The photo in question features Grant and Mick on their bikes, cycling along a country road, with big smiles on each of their faces.</p> <p>“D*ckheads,” Grant said of the pair, and added that they were “putting in the big yards for the @bathurst12hr this weekend. Doing a lot of riding. New to it. As our crash proves … Thx Mick from @bathurstaquapark for being a great training partner. Most of the time”.</p> <p>Grant’s post was met with great amusement from his followers, with most making fun of the situation along with him. It didn’t seem to phase Grant, who met their comments with lighthearted jokes of his own. </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/CoEdKdkrFGG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CoEdKdkrFGG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Grant Denyer (@grantdenyer)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Two hands for beginners, legend,” wrote one. </p> <p>“Yeah um…. Was fun until it wasn’t!” Grant responded, going on to mention that they  “took each out and ended up in the scrub. Naturally we did it on the last kilometre of the run. It’s always the ‘last run’ isn’t it?”</p> <p>“Yep, you certainly were putting lots of effort into the big hill as I was passing,” said one supporter, suggesting they had spotted Grant out on the road. </p> <p>Grant, who mentioned that he was new to riding in his original caption, responded to confirm that “it does not come natural I can assure you!! These little legs work HARD”. </p> <p>Mick, Grant’s riding partner, came up in a few of the comments, and Grant made sure to praise his skill while still poking some fun at the whole situation. </p> <p>“He’s a wildcat that’s for sure! A beast on the bike.” He said of his training partner, “bloody talented at everything. Except keeping to himself”. </p> <p>Grant, who has quite the history with motorsports under his belt, will still be participating in the Bathurst 12 hour, an international endurance race that will span Friday through to Sunday.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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"Just pure kindness": Richard E Grant's emotional gift after wife's death

<p>Richard E Grant has shared the story of an incredibly thoughtful gift from his neighbour. </p> <p>The English actor said he was "undone" by his neighbour's gift, which was a heart-warming reminder of his late wife. </p> <p>Grant, 65, lost his wife, dialect coach Joan Washington, to lung cancer in September 2021.</p> <p>The actor shared an emotional video about the gift and how much it meant to him while he is continuing to grieve his loss. </p> <p>“I returned to the Cotswolds today for the weekend and the kind of violence in the silence as you long to hear the person that you can never hear again,” he began, looking visibly emotional.</p> <p>“What has completely floored me is to find that my incredibly generous neighbour Jules Bowsher has gifted me a comfort blanket, or a lap quilt as she calls it."</p> <p>“She has hand embroidered it over months, with all of my wife’s favourite poetry."</p> <p>“All of the names of the actors and coaches she worked with over the decades, films and stage plays that she coached on."</p> <p>“All the expressions that were common to our 38-year-long marriage.”</p> <p>The actor continued, “It includes little 3D pockets of happiness with keepsakes and trinkets, all referencing our long marriage.”</p> <p>“The amount of time she has taken to do this, it’s beyond measure as the kindness of friendship has undone me in the greatest spirit of Christmas as possible,” Grant said.</p> <p>“How can two little words, ‘Thank you,’ begin to adequately convey the enormity of what she has given me?</p> <p>“We’re not related. We’re not family or anything like that. Just pure kindness.”</p> <p>He finished by saying, “Thank you Jules. You’ve made a grown man cry with gratitude.”</p> <p>Fans flocked to comment on what a kind gift it was, sharing their admiration for the actor's thoughtful neighbour. </p> <p>“The hours that lovely lady must have spent, but to see how well received it has been, must give her pleasure too,” one follower wrote.</p> <div> <p>“What a kind lady,” wrote another.</p> <p>“I have lost my only son, and the kindness of people has blown me away; the world can be a hard place to be sometimes, but kindness truly takes over everything else, for sure.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p> </div>

Caring

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Big jump in e-scooter injuries following Melbourne trial

<p>With many Australian states reviewing the laws around electric scooters, new data from Victoria suggests more can be done to prevent serious injuries.</p> <p>Data from Monash University’s Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit shows a doubling in the number of scooter injuries in the state this year.</p> <p>Some 427 people attended emergency departments with injuries from e-scooters in 2021/22, a 234% increase on the previous year.</p> <p>The data comes from 38 Victorian public hospitals with 24-hour emergency departments. Around a third of the emergency department presentations were admitted to hospital. </p> <p>Reflecting trends seen in Queensland, the majority of Victorian e-scooter injuries involved males (68% in 2021/22), with head and neck injuries common. </p> <p>Younger people aged 10 to 39 consistently made up more than 70% of emergency department presentations in 2020/21 and 2021/22.</p> <p>But urban transport specialists say e-scooters should still be taken seriously as a method of transport which offers environmental and health benefits.</p> <p>Professor Hussein Dia from Swinburne University, an expert in future urban mobility, argues it’s important to consider the broader benefits offered by micromobility transport options, particularly as an alternative to private car use for shorter commutes, and for connecting people to nearby public transport.</p> <p>“I think we need to take them seriously because they can make a big difference in terms of reducing congestion, improving livability in our cities, because they can be accessed very easily, and also they can be a force for a good change in reducing emissions.”</p> <p>“Transport contributes around 18% of [greenhouse gas emissions], particularly road transport and specifically private vehicles. So, the more we move people out of private vehicles towards public transport, e-bikes and e-scooters, the better for everyone. And then also, let’s not forget about the health benefits. But we need to prioritise safety,” he says.</p> <p>Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit data shows there were more than 11,400 emergency department presentations related to cycling injuries, more than 5,500 for motorbikes, and more than 7,600 related to cars in 2021/22. While e-scooter injury numbers are relatively small in comparison to these other transport modes, it’s difficult to compare statistics directly given the lack of information on the proportion of trips made by e-scooter.</p> <p>Transport accidents are the third highest cause of serious injuries and fourth highest cause of deaths, 2019-20 data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows. Car occupants and motorcyclists experienced the highest rates of serious injuries and deaths. </p> <p>Dia says while each city is different in terms of its infrastructure and transport policies, a UK study found e-scooters were five times safer than bicycles and nine times safer than motorbikes. </p> <p>Professor Mark Stevenson, an expert in transport and public health at the University of Melbourne, says when e-scooters and e-bikes replace car trips this reduces air pollution in the form of particulate matter from car tyres and combustion.</p> <p>Stevenson says injury data typically doesn’t distinguish between regulated use of e-scooters as part of the trial in Melbourne, and illegal or unregulated use. This is an important distinction because vehicles in the trial have safety measures in place such as speed limitations and helmet requirements.</p> <p>“If we embrace them and also ensure that we can deliver a safe transport infrastructure for them, we could see enormous utility out of these vehicles, one that will deliver in spades,” he says.</p> <p>The year-long trial of 1,500 rent-and-ride e-scooters operates in the inner city councils of Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip. To date, Melburnians have taken more than a million trips on e-scooters according to the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria.</p> <p>Private e-scooters remain illegal to use in public spaces, including roads and footpaths in Victoria. It’s estimated 100,000 e-scooters are privately owned in Victoria, according to reports in The Age.</p> <p>A spokesperson for Neuron, one of the companies participating in the Melbourne trial, says its vehicles include safety technology that controls where e-scooters are ridden and parked, and how fast they can travel.</p> <p>“Safety is our top priority, we have a robust rider education program focused on ensuring riders know the rules and how to ride and park responsibly. We run regular safety campaigns and ScootSafe events and deploy ‘Safety Ambassadors’ to city streets to engage one-to-one with riders and the general public,” the spokesperson says.</p> <p>According to the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit, the most common injuries were fractures (35%), dislocations or sprains (11%) or open wounds (11%) in 2021-22.</p> <p>Most injuries occurred as a result of people falling from e-scooters (81%), 7% collided with a car or van, 1% collided with a bicycle, and 1% with a pedestrian.</p> <p>Queensland recently introduced new rules and penalties for e-scooters in an effort to improve safety, and South Australia looks set to reform e-scooter laws in 2023.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/cosmos-briefing/victoria-e-scooter-injuries/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Petra Stock.</strong></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Mobile phone hoarding: e-waste not good news for the environment

<p>What happened to your previous mobile phone after you upgraded or replaced it? Did it go in a drawer? A box in the garage, perhaps?</p> <p>Today marks International E Waste Day, with this year’s slogan, “Recycle it all, no matter how small!”, specifically targeting small devices with a high recycling value that are often hoarded for years before they become waste.</p> <p>It’s a timely reminder, as results from surveys conducted across Europe suggest that the roughly 5.3 billion mobiles and smartphones dropping out of use this year would reach a height of around 50,000 km if stacked flat and on top of each other.</p> <p>That’s well-and-truly over the average orbiting height of the International Space Station and about an eighth of the distance to the moon.</p> <p>“In 2022 alone, small EEE (Electrical and Electronic Equipment) items such as cell phones, electric toothbrushes, toasters and cameras produced worldwide will weigh an estimated total of 24.5 million tonnes – four times the weight of the Great Pyramid of Giza”, says Magdalena Charytanowicz of the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Forum, responsible for organising <a href="https://www.genevaenvironmentnetwork.org/events/international-e-waste-day-2022/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">International E Waste Day</a>. “And these small items make up a significant proportion of the 8% of all e-waste thrown into trash bins and eventually landfilled or incinerated.”</p> <p>With their valuable components of <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/critical-minerals-mining-australia/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">gold, copper, silver, palladium and other materials</a>, mobile phones ranked fourth amongst small Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) hoarded or unrecoverably discarded – that is put in draws, cupboards or garages – rather than repaired or recycled – or sent to landfill or for incineration.</p> <p>The surveys ran for four months from June 2022 and covered 8,775 households across Portugal, Netherlands, Italy, Romani, Slovenia and the UK and asked participants about common items such as phones, tablets, laptops, electric tools, hair dryers, toasters and other appliances. The top five hoarded small EEE products were (in order): small electronics and accessories (e.g., headphones, remotes), small equipment (e.g., clocks, irons), small IT equipment (e.g., hard drives, routers, keyboards, mice), mobile and smartphones, small food preparation appliances (e.g., toasters, grills).</p> <p>Italy hoarded the highest number of small EEE products, while Lebanon hoarded the least.</p> <p>You might recognise some of the reasons given, which included potential future use, plans to sell or give away, sentimental value, future value, use in a secondary residence or contains sensitive data. Others were also unsure how to dispose of the item or felt there was no incentive to recycle it, and some argued that they’d forgotten, didn’t have time or that the item didn’t take up very much space.</p> <p>This is a shame because such items, despite being small, pack a big punch in recyclability.</p> <div class="newsletter-box"> <div id="wpcf7-f6-p218602-o1" class="wpcf7" dir="ltr" lang="en-US" role="form"> <form class="wpcf7-form mailchimp-ext-0.5.62 spai-bg-prepared init" action="/earth/e-waste-mobile-phone-bad-news-environment/#wpcf7-f6-p218602-o1" method="post" novalidate="novalidate" data-status="init"> <p style="display: none !important;"><span class="wpcf7-form-control-wrap referer-page"><input class="wpcf7-form-control wpcf7-text referer-page" name="referer-page" type="hidden" value="https://cosmosmagazine.com/" data-value="https://cosmosmagazine.com/" aria-invalid="false" /></span></p> <p><!-- Chimpmail extension by Renzo Johnson --></form> </div> </div> <p>“We focussed this year on small e-waste items because it is very easy for them to accumulate unused and unnoticed in households, or to be tossed into the ordinary garbage bin”, says Pascal Leroy, Director General of the WEEE Forum, who have organised International E Waste Day. “People tend not to realise that all these seemingly insignificant items have a lot of value, and together at a global level represent massive volumes.”</p> <p>“These devices offer many important resources that can be used in the production of new electronic devices or other equipment, such as wind turbines, electric car batteries or solar panels – all crucial for the green, digital transition to low-carbon societies,” says Charytanowicz.</p> <h4>What can be done about e-waste?</h4> <p>At the governmental level, there are a number of initiatives including legislation that are coming into effect or being tightened up in order to address this increasing problem.</p> <p>“The continuing growth in the production, consumption and disposal of electronic devices has huge environmental and climate impacts,” says Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. “The European Commission is addressing those with proposals and measures throughout the whole product life-cycle, starting from design until collection and proper treatment when electronics become waste.”</p> <p>“Moreover, preventing waste and recovering important raw materials from e-waste is crucial to avoid putting more strain on the world’s resources. Only by establishing a <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/can-a-circular-economy-eliminate-e-waste/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">circular economy</a> for electronics, the EU will continue to lead in the efforts to urgently address the fast-growing problem of e-waste.”</p> <p>There is also a role for more education and communication.</p> <p>Launched today by UNITAR, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), is the first self-paced e-waste<a href="https://www.uncclearn.org" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> online training course</a> open to anyone. A UNITAR certificate is available upon graduation of the roughly 1.5-hour course which aims to use scientific findings in a practical way for international training and capacity building,” says Nikhil Seth, UNITAR’s Executive Director.</p> <p>Finally, The WEEE Forum has been actively involved in collecting, de-polluting, recycling or preparing for re-use more than 30 million tonnes of WEEE and has also run communication campaigns for almost twenty years.</p> <p>“Providing collection boxes in supermarkets, pick up of small broken appliances upon delivery of new ones and offering PO Boxes to return small e-waste are just some of the initiatives introduced to encourage the return of these items,” says WEEE’s Leroy.</p> <p>At the personal level, all you have to do is quite your hoarding habits and recycle, instead!</p> <p><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --></p> <p><img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=218602&amp;title=Mobile+phone+hoarding%3A+e-waste+not+good+news+for+the+environment" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><!-- End of tracking content syndication --></p> <div id="contributors"> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth/e-waste-mobile-phone-bad-news-environment/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/clare-kenyon" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Clare Kenyon</a>. </em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p> </div>

Technology

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AI system sees beyond the frame of famous artworks

<p dir="ltr">A new AI tool can provide a glimpse of what could potentially be going on beyond the frame of famous paintings, giving them a brand new life. </p> <p dir="ltr">OpenAI, a San Francisco-based company, has created a new tool called 'Outpainting' for its text-to-image AI system, DALL-E. </p> <p dir="ltr">Outpainting allows the system to imagine what's outside the frame of famous works such as <em>Girl with The Pearl Earring</em>, <em>Mona Lisa</em> and <em>Dogs Playing Poker</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">DALL-E relies on artificial neural networks (ANNs), which simulate the way the brain works in order to learn and create an image from text. </p> <p dir="ltr">Now with Outpainting, users must describe the extended visuals in text form for DALL-E to “paint” the newly imagined artwork. </p> <p dir="ltr">Outpainting, which is primarily aimed for professionals who work with images, will let users 'extend their creativity' and 'tell a bigger story', according to OpenAI. </p> <p dir="ltr">US artist August Kamp used Outpainting to reimagine the famous 1665 painting <em>Girl with a Pearl Earring</em> by Johannes Vermeer, extending the background in the original style. </p> <p dir="ltr">The results show the iconic subject in a domestic setting, surrounded by crockery, houseplants, fruit, boxes and more.</p> <p dir="ltr">Other Outpainting attempts took a more creative turn, with one showing the <em>Mona Lisa</em> surrounded by a dystopian wasteland, and a version of <em>A Friend In Need</em> showing an additional table of gambling canines.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">“Outpainting: an apocalyptic Mona Lisa” by tonidl1989<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dalle?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#dalle</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dalle2?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#dalle2</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/aiart?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#aiart</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/aiartwork?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#aiartwork</a> <a href="https://t.co/puYVxjyFMm">pic.twitter.com/puYVxjyFMm</a></p> <p>— Best Dalle2 AI Art 🎨 (@Dalle2AI) <a href="https://twitter.com/Dalle2AI/status/1565168579376566278?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 1, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Used DALL-E 2’s new “outpainting” feature to expand the world’s greatest work of art… <a href="https://t.co/0HXQzngt9P">pic.twitter.com/0HXQzngt9P</a></p> <p>— M.G. Siegler (@mgsiegler) <a href="https://twitter.com/mgsiegler/status/1565398150482784256?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 1, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">DALL-E is available to more than one million people to create AI-generated images, all with a series of text prompts. </p> <p dir="ltr">DALL-E is just one of many AI systems infiltrating the art world, joining the likes of Midjourney and Imagen redefining how we create and appreciate art. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: DALL-E - August Kamp</em></p>

Art

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Beverly Hills, 90210 star Joe E. Tata dead at 86

<p dir="ltr"><em>Beverly Hills, 90210</em> star Joe E. Tata has passed away at the age of 86 following a battle with Alzheimer’s. </p> <p dir="ltr">His devastating death was announced by Tata’s co-star Ian Ziering on Instagram, who paid tribute to the man who played Peach Pit owner Nat Bussichio on the show for 10 years.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ziering started off his post acknowledging the deaths of other colleagues, Jessica Klein one of 90210’s most prolific writers and producers, Denise Douse who played Mrs. Teasley, before sharing the heartbreaking announcement. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m very sad to say Joe E Tata has passed away. Joey was truly an OG, I remember seeing him on the Rockford files with James Garner years before we worked together on 90210,” his post began.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He was often one of the background villains in the original Batman series. </p> <p dir="ltr">“One of the happiest people I’ve ever worked with, he was as generous with his wisdom as he was with his kindness. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Though the peach pit was a 90210 set, It often felt like the backdrop to the Joe E Tata show. </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/ChsG7TirHFW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/ChsG7TirHFW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Ian Ziering (@ianziering)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“The stories of days gone by that he would share, incredible experiences in the entertainment industry that he was a part of would keep us all captivated. </p> <p dir="ltr">“He may have been in the back of many scenes, but he was a leading force, especially to us guys, on how to appreciate the gift that 90210 was. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My smile dims today but basking in fond memories moves him from my eyes to my heart where he will always be.</p> <p dir="ltr">“My sincere condolences go out to his family and friends, and everyone else he was dear too. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Rest In peace Joey.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Tata’s health began to deteriorate in 2014 but it was only in 2018 when he was officially diagnosed with Alzehimer’s </p> <p dir="ltr">“Now 86 years old, his illness has progressed to its final stages," Tata’s daughter Kelly wrote on a crowdsourcing page for her father. </p> <p dir="ltr">"He spends his days scared and confused. The few times I've seen him, there is relief and joy in his eyes."</p> <p dir="ltr">"Nat was a loving father figure to the kids of West Beverly High. In real life, my Dad, Joey, is honest, kind, and a truly incredible father."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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Who’s liable if you’re injured or killed riding an e-scooter?

<p>The rental e-scooter craze is sweeping the globe, with millions of the vehicles dotting pavements in <a href="https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_gl/topics/automotive-and-transportation/automotive-transportation-pdfs/ey-micromobility-moving-cities-into-a-sustainable-future.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">more than 600 cities</a>. <a href="https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200608-how-sustainable-are-electric-scooters" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Studies predict</a> there will be 4.6 million shared e-scooters in operation worldwide by 2024.</p> <p>While e-scooters <a href="https://www.mearth.com.au/blogs/news/why-electric-scooters-are-greener-than-you-think" target="_blank" rel="noopener">have been praised</a> as a greener form of transport, they have also caused scores of injuries and even deaths. Australia’s e-scooter fleet is comparatively small at <a href="https://micromobilityreport.com.au/infrastructure/bike-scooter-share/2022-a-year-of-change/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">around 10,000 units</a>, yet major hospitals in <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/melbourne-emergency-department-sees-escooter-injuries-daily/9cdd73d5-0bee-4546-ab65-2cf650201e5b" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Melbourne</a>, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-22/electric-e-scooter-e-bike-injuries-brisbane-emergency-department/100313526" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Brisbane</a> and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-15/warning-issued-to-escooter-riders-in-perth/101242834" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Perth</a> are reporting “daily” presentations with e-scooter related traumas to both riders and pedestrians.</p> <p>Worse, according to media reports at least seven Australians have been killed through falls or collisions since their <a href="https://raine.co/blogs/news/electric-scooter-trials" target="_blank" rel="noopener">introduction in 2018</a>, including a <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/qld/queensland-boy-15-dies-five-days-after-suffering-critical-injuries-in-e-scooter-crash-c-7563230" target="_blank" rel="noopener">15-year-old Queensland boy last week</a>.</p> <p>Although the National Transport Commission <a href="https://www.ntc.gov.au/sites/default/files/assets/files/NTC-Decision-RIS-PMDs.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recommended</a> in 2020 that e-scooters be limited to a speed of 10 km/hr on footpaths and 25km/hr on roads or bike lanes, most states have allowed higher speeds on footpaths.</p> <p>Many riders also shun the helmet requirement imposed by the e-scooter terms of use and the <a href="https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/__legislation/lz/c/r/australian%20road%20rules/current/2014.205.auth.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Road Rules</a>. It therefore seems that more carnage is on the horizon.</p> <p>We need a uniform regulatory framework balancing the risks and benefits of e-scooters, and clarifying avenues for compensation.</p> <h2>Who’s liable for e-scooter injuries?</h2> <p>The <a href="https://pcc.gov.au/uniform/Australian-Road-Rules-10December2021.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Road Rules</a> empower the states to prohibit e-scooters on public roads and footpaths. Most states have banned them by default, but many local councils have authorised <a href="https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety-and-road-rules/road-safety-programs/e-scooter-trials-in-victoria" target="_blank" rel="noopener">temporary trials</a>, which are still in effect.</p> <p>Obviously, if you crash due to your own misuse or recklessness, you are personally responsible for your injuries or those you cause to others.</p> <p>But if the accident is caused by a fault with the e-scooter, that might be different. Some of the e-scooter companies, such as Neuron, <a href="https://www.rideneuron.com/terms-of-service/au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">state that they exclude liability</a> for injury except where it’s caused by their negligence.</p> <p>Where you’ve crashed due to uneven pavement or damaged road, the disrepair will generally need to be known or otherwise significant to prove the local council breached its duty of care to you. You would then seek compensation through the council’s public liability insurer. You would likely have to try to do the same if you trip over a dormant e-scooter that has been dumped in random locations, as they often are.</p> <p>Third parties who are injured by an e-scooter rider are in a difficult position. This is because <a href="https://jade.io/article/67447" target="_blank" rel="noopener">only parties to a contract</a> can incur rights and obligations under the contract. E-scooter contracts are between the user and the respective company, so those who are struck by e-scooters, or trip over a dormant one, have no contractual rights against the company.</p> <p>An injured third party would have to sue the rider directly. But attaining the rider’s personal details could be difficult if they drive off or are evasive, and they will <a href="https://attwoodmarshall.com.au/escooter-laws/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">likely be unable to pay compensation</a>.</p> <p>Complicating matters is the fact minors also ride e-scooters. <a href="https://www.li.me/en-au/user-agreement" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Lime</a> and <a href="https://www.rideneuron.com/terms-of-service/au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Neuron</a> forbid minors from using their vehicles, but <a href="https://global-uploads.webflow.com/5b685812f109cf81a7d99e25/61b3143240d08942f78415ce_Terms%20of%20Services%20-%20Beam%20Australia%20(website)%20-%20December%202021.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Beam</a> allows people under 16 to ride with parental consent. E-scooters are colourful, funky, and marketed in a manner appealing to young and likely inexperienced riders.</p> <p>Each of the e-scooter companies’ terms warn that breaching the terms of use, such as riding as an unauthorised minor, can void insurance entitlements, meaning many unwary parents or caregivers may be left to foot hefty medical and legal bills.</p> <h2>Excluding liability through the fine print</h2> <p>When a user downloads and accesses the relevant app to activate an e-scooter, they agree to the terms of service. <a href="https://jade.io/article/68500" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The law states</a> that you’re bound by the terms you sign (physically or digitally), even if you don’t read them – and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/03/terms-of-service-online-contracts-fine-print" target="_blank" rel="noopener">most people don’t</a>.</p> <p>Australia’s biggest e-scooter companies – <a href="https://www.li.me/en-au/user-agreement" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Lime</a>, <a href="https://global-uploads.webflow.com/5b685812f109cf81a7d99e25/61b3143240d08942f78415ce_Terms%20of%20Services%20-%20Beam%20Australia%20(website)%20-%20December%202021.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Beam</a>, and <a href="https://www.rideneuron.com/terms-of-service/au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Neuron</a> – all have lengthy user agreements, each containing exclusion clauses. These clauses restrict or exclude the companies’ liability if you’re injured while using them.</p> <p>But are they watertight?</p> <p>It depends on wording. Beam’s agreement, for example, states that the company isn’t liable to users “for any death, disability or personal injury […] howsoever caused” arising directly or indirectly in connection with use of its e-scooters. Such statements, though broad, are <a href="https://jade.io/article/65000" target="_blank" rel="noopener">generally sufficient</a> to exclude negligence liability. The reference to “indirect” injury also implies a user being injured by a third party (such as an errant rider, driver, or pedestrian) would have no recourse against the company.</p> <p>However, the courts <a href="https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/1953/2.html&amp;query=(white)+AND+(v)+AND+(john)+AND+(warwick)" target="_blank" rel="noopener">have also said</a> that where liability can arise on two or more different bases – such as negligence and breach of contract – then you need to use more specific wording in your exclusion clause. Lime, Beam, and Neuron all mention negligence, so they would likely be covered.</p> <h2>Insurance as a panacea?</h2> <p>Compulsory third-party insurance is <a href="https://www.qbe.com/au/news/ctp-explained" target="_blank" rel="noopener">required</a> with motor vehicle registration in Australia. But this isn’t so with e-scooters, as they’re not classified as registrable vehicles. Extending the compulsory third-party insurance scheme to e-scooters might help resolve some of the liability questions that linger.</p> <p>However, the <a href="https://mylicence.sa.gov.au/road-rules/riding_motorised_scooters" target="_blank" rel="noopener">South Australian Government</a> has observed this isn’t possible because e-scooters don’t meet <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure-transport-vehicles/vehicles/vehicle-design-regulation/australian-design-rules" target="_blank" rel="noopener">national standards</a> that govern registrable vehicles.</p> <p>While some home and contents insurance policies may offer some coverage for e-scooter injuries, this hasn’t been tested and young victims almost certainly won’t have this insurance.</p> <p>Workplace insurance might also apply if the accident occurred on the way to, or during, work. Again, this will depend on the relevant policy and whether the rider was obeying all road rules and the e-scooter’s terms of use.</p> <p>If a rider is hit by a car, the driver’s compulsory third party insurance would cover any resulting injury or death.</p> <p>The e-scooter companies have started introducing third party liability insurance schemes which might protect riders from claims brought by, for example, injured pedestrians. However, the policies generally have numerous exclusions, such as where riders breach the terms of use (for example for not wearing a helmet or being underage).</p> <h2>The need for a unified approach</h2> <p>Multiple stakeholders are involved in rental e-scooter arrangements. From a regulatory perspective, state and local governments have a duty to consider and protect all members of the community when they allow and control e-scooter trials. The chosen approach can also impact redress mechanisms for those injured by e-scooters.</p> <p>At the moment, there’s different approaches across Australia. So it’s essential that all levels of government work together to craft a uniform regulatory framework.</p> <p>Additional safety measures can help curb the injury and death count, such as more precise “geofencing” to restrict e-scooters to certain areas and remote deactivation for breach of safety rules. Ensuring only those with a driver’s licence are authorised to ride e-scooters could also help, and this could be implemented by linking e-scooter app sign-up to state government licence databases.</p> <p>In the meantime, law enforcement is critical to ensure riders are riding e-scooters in a safe and legal manner.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/whos-liable-if-youre-injured-or-killed-riding-an-e-scooter-187436" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </strong></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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“You are disgusting”: Prince William accuses man of stalking his children

<p dir="ltr">The Cambridges seem to be embroiled in a row with YouTube, after the family claim a video that breaches their privacy has been viewed thousands of times despite attempts to block it.</p> <p dir="ltr">The video, which clocked 20,000 views on Monday according to the <em><a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/you-are-disgusting-duke-of-cambridge-confronts-stalker-who-came-looking-for-his-children/G2V23LT2HCTYNTOZKGGDJBUQ44/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">NZ Herald</a></em>, shows Prince William confronting a photographer after he was filmed on a bike ride with his family near Sandringham, Norfolk, sometime last year.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-a49da7cc-7fff-6cab-c9d3-8092ba55f520"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">William is seen reproaching the man, who was videoing the prince, while Kate and their three children are off-camera nearby.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Obsessed with Prince William kicking off <a href="https://t.co/NgKgyU5eLZ">pic.twitter.com/NgKgyU5eLZ</a></p> <p>— I Don't Know Her (@l_dont_know_her) <a href="https://twitter.com/l_dont_know_her/status/1541554976689897474?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 27, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“If you want to have this altercation we can have this altercation,” William says in the clip, while appearing to be calling someone on his mobile phone.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kate can be heard in the background, telling the man, “We came with our children.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I know, I know, I just realised who it was and I’ve stopped,” the man said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You didn’t, you’re out here looking for us,” William replied.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You drove past us outside our house, I saw you,” Kate said, which the man denied doing. </p> <p dir="ltr">The man claimed he wasn’t following the family, to which William replies: “Yes you are, you are stalking around here looking for our children”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Duke of Cambridge then references the incident where the man followed the family while on a bike ride, lashing out when the man denies following them.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You are outrageous, you are disgusting, you really are. How dare you behave like that,” William says.</p> <p dir="ltr">The short clip was uploaded over the weekend, over a year after the incident occurred.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kensington Palace has responded by claiming the clip is a breach of the family’s privacy, with William shown to be on a private bike ride with his family, who were blurred out in the video.</p> <p dir="ltr">It is understood that staff are seeking the removal of the video in line with their usual policy about privacy, which seems to have been successful as of publication.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, versions of the clip continue to circulate on other social media platforms, including TikTok and Twitter.</p> <p dir="ltr">The balance between William’s family’s privacy and their roles in the public eye is something he has spent many years negotiating with the British media, in which he has authorised a small number of photographs of the children to be released each year while insisting on otherwise total privacy.</p> <p dir="ltr">Traditional British print media doesn’t publish videos or photos of the royal family in private situations, particularly when Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are involved.</p> <p dir="ltr">But images are often posted on social media and sold to European publications working under different laws.</p> <p dir="ltr">A spokesperson for YouTube is yet to comment on the situation.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-7133d0e2-7fff-91e7-880d-93501fb7d3c1"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Twitter</em></p>

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