Life - After a decade of soul-destroying online dates, I finally met my Mr Right

Helena Christensen: ‘It’s more fun modelling at 54 than when I was 20’


23-09-19 20:00

Helena Christensen, the supermodel who rose to fame in the 1990s, has revealed her secrets to staying radiant at 54. Christensen credits her love for nature and the outdoors as the key to feeling good and looking beautiful. She enjoys activities such as swimming in rivers and oceans, cooking, hiking, and watching the changing seasons. She also stays grounded by taking cold-water swims, which she documents on Instagram for her 1.1 million followers. Christensen avoids discussing plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures, preferring to focus on healthy living and unique recipes. She also has a passion for vintage underwear and has collected pieces since she was 13 years old. Christensen has modelled for lingerie brand Coco de Mer and now uses her photography skills to shoot for the brand. Throughout her career, Christensen has followed her own path and values her friendships with fellow supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington. She describes them as a close group of friends who share a unique experience in the fashion world.
The Essential J.M. Coetzee

NY Times

23-09-19 19:32

J.M. Coetzee, the Nobel Prize-winning author, has been described as one of the most significant living authors in English. Coetzee's novels are known for their precision and moral weight, tackling themes such as human reason and dignity. His novels are often spare and concise, with most being around 200 pages. Coetzee's works have won numerous awards and accolades, cementing his reputation as a heavyweight in the literary world. Though his novels are serious and often explore dark themes, Coetzee's writing also contains a dark humor and an underlying optimism.

Coetzee’s novels often tackle big questions of human existence, such as apartheid in South Africa, and the relationship between humans and animals. His writing is known for its precision and unadorned style. Coetzee’s novels have been adapted into films, but these adaptations have often been poorly received. His most famous works include “Waiting for the Barbarians,” “Disgrace,” and “The Childhood of Jesus.” Coetzee has also written three volumes of autobiography, which blur the line between fact and fiction. His essays explore themes of race, censorship, linguistics, and psychology.

Coetzee’s writing has been praised for its moral weight and precision, as well as its exploration of big questions of human reason and dignity. His works have won numerous awards and accolades, and he is regarded as one of the most significant living authors in English.

‘Spiralling’: How Panthers prop overcame mental scars

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-19 19:30

Penrith Panthers prop Lindsay Smith has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until the end of 2026. Smith's rise to prominence was halted when he suffered shoulder injuries that required surgery, forcing him to spend a year on the sidelines. During this time, he faced mental health challenges and sought help from psychologists. Smith has since overcome these obstacles and has become a key player for the Panthers, making 21 NRL appearances this year.
It was my dream to run away to a Greek island and write a book - this year, I did it

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-19 19:00

Charmian Clift, an Australian writer, is remembered as a talented author who lived on the Greek island of Hydra with her husband, George Johnston. Clift's books, such as Peel Me a Lotus and Mermaid Singing, captivated readers with their evocative descriptions of life on the island. However, Clift's life was filled with challenges and disappointments, including the loss of her daughter and the deterioration of her marriage. Despite these difficulties, Clift was known for her resilience and determination to pursue her dream of being a writer.

Hydra, the island where Clift lived, is described as a place of contradictions. It is both wild and chic, with designer boutiques and international art exhibitions. Many creative artists, such as Leonard Cohen and Lawrence Durrell, have been drawn to the island’s beauty and tranquility. Clift’s connection to Hydra was deep and profound, and the island became the setting for many of her life’s dramas.

Clift’s marriage to George Johnston was fraught with challenges, including financial worries, infidelities, and constant struggles to find time to write. The couple’s drinking habits and health issues further strained their relationship. Johnston’s novel, My Brother Jack, which was published to great acclaim, contained elements of Clift’s own life and writing. However, Clift’s contributions were not publicly recognized, and she was left to pack up and sell her dream house on Hydra.

Clift’s life ended tragically when she took a fatal overdose of her husband’s barbiturates. She left a note to Johnston, expressing her belief that he would have a successful career. Soon after her death, Johnston won the Miles Franklin award for the second time. Despite the challenges she faced, Clift’s words continue to be read and remembered, and her legacy as a talented writer lives on.

Scottish cousins reveal how heart donors saved both their lives at just 45

The Independent

23-09-19 23:01

Two cousins from Scotland have spoken about the new lease of life that heart transplants have given them. Fraser Wilson and Louise Campbell were both 45 when they underwent surgery at the Golden Jubilee University National Hospital in Clydebank. The pair both had the genetic disease cardiomyopathy and had lost parents and uncles to it prior to their operations.
Emotionally intelligent habits can reduce stress at work and it starts with the weekend

The Globe and Mail

23-09-21 09:00

Psychologist Travis Bradberry suggests that in order to deal with stress in the workweek, one should focus on changing their habits during the weekend. Bradberry believes that structuring free time wisely can help reduce stress and improve emotional intelligence. He recommends incorporating habits such as exercise, relaxation, reflection, and spending time with loved ones into one's weekend routine. Bradberry emphasizes the importance of cultivating these habits in order to improve one's ability to handle stress and ultimately lead a more fulfilling life.
As we head into winter, tires should have more tread. Here’s how to check

The Globe and Mail

23-09-21 09:00

Ontario’s Vehicle Inspection Standard Handbook states that the tread depth of a tyre should not be measured on the wear bar. The wear bar is a small piece of rubber located in the grooves, and the depth at which the tread matches the wear bar indicates that the life of the tread has ended. The minimum legal tread depth for summer tyres is 2mm, and 4mm for winter tyres. Tread depth can be tested by using a coin, such as a toonie, and this will work for all types of tyre.
How parents are juggling paying for kids’ education while saving for retirement as costs rise

The Globe and Mail

23-09-21 08:50

As university costs rise and the economy falters, the prospect of funding children's education and saving for retirement is becoming increasingly difficult for parents. A recent poll found that 81% of parents believe it is their duty to help their children pay for their education, and 52% said that they would go into debt themselves to pay for their children's education. However, parents need to ensure their own financial future is secure before funding their children's education, says Steve Bridge of Money Coaches Canada. He argues that by funding their children's entire degree, parents may be setting themselves up for hardship in the future. It is also important for parents to discuss financial expectations around education with their children and encourage them to make intentional choices. Options for funding education include scholarships, grants, part-time jobs, grandparents, or choosing a cheaper university or college.
The endless depth of love, a dog named Flo and a century of waiting has North Sydney ready for their day in the sun


23-09-21 08:11

The North Sydney Bears rugby league team are in the grand final of the NSW Cup, which many see as the club's first chance of securing a premiership in over 30 years. The Bears haven't won a premiership in the top flight since 1922, and since then have spent the last 24 seasons outside of the top grade. Despite the lack of success, the club and its fans have never given up hope of returning to the top level. The Bears have been involved in various attempts to return to the NRL, including moves to the Central Coast, Perth and Wellington, but none have come to fruition. Nevertheless, the club's fans remain passionate and loyal, and the club's inclusion in any future NRL expansion plans is regularly discussed.
I’ve taken one flight in ten years, and my life is richer for it


23-09-21 08:00

The writer of this article explains that they made a personal decision to give up air travel for environmental reasons. They now choose to travel by train and ferry, and have found that this slower form of travel is more relaxing and enjoyable. The writer believes that limiting aviation and promoting overland travel is a wise way to protect the planet and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They argue that a slower, more minimalist lifestyle has brought them more contentment and fulfillment. The writer encourages readers to consider the benefits of reducing air travel before dismissing the idea.
How parents are juggling paying for kids’ education while saving for retirement as costs rise

The Globe and Mail

23-09-21 08:50

As university costs increase and the economy becomes more unstable, parents in Canada are finding themselves having to finance their children's education at the same time as saving for their own retirement. A recent poll suggested that 81% of parents believe that it is their duty to help pay for their children's education, with 52% saying that they would go into debt to ensure that this was possible. The strain that this places on parents in their 40s, who are also dealing with their own student debt and retirement savings, is leading to increasing pressure on their finances. Parents are being urged to focus on their own financial goals and security before considering paying for their children's education in full. They should also explore all possible options to pay for school, such as scholarships, grants, part-time work, and cheaper universities.
‘I was less nervous going to prison than I was getting on stage’


23-09-21 14:00

Tricky, the Bristolian music legend, recently participated in a reader interview with The Guardian. He discussed various topics, including his feelings about his album Maxinquaye, his experience performing with Beyoncé, and his friendship with Terry Hall. Tricky expressed that while Maxinquaye may sound dated to him now, he understands why it was successful at the time and recognizes its impact. He also mentioned that his older albums are often more popular with younger fans than Maxinquaye. Tricky also discussed his performance with Beyoncé at Glastonbury in 2011, describing her as down-to-earth and hardworking. However, he mentioned that they don't hang out anymore. Tricky also confirmed that the story about annoying Gary Oldman on set by eating a Twix during filming for The Fifth Element is true. He admitted to feeling nervous during his early live performances and shared that he was less nervous going to prison than getting on stage. Tricky also discussed his friendship with Terry Hall, expressing his love and admiration for the musician. He revealed his plans to release a Terry covers EP in the future.
Family of woman with brain tumour follow her instructions to live life to full

The Independent

23-09-21 13:50

The family of Julie Cooper, who died of a brain tumour in 2019, have raised tens of thousands of pounds in her memory. The family set up the Live Life for Julie fund to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity and to follow Julie’s philosophy of making the most of life. They hope the fund will exceed £40,000 after a two-day bike ride along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Julie’s son Luke Cooper said the fund was about “living life and having fun” and that his mother would not want them to be sad. The money raised will go towards research for glioblastomas.
India's Glenmark to sell majority stake in life sciences unit for $680 mln


23-09-21 13:46

Indian pharmaceutical company Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has announced plans to sell a 75% stake in its unit Glenmark Life Sciences to detergent maker Nirma for INR56.52bn ($679.84m). The life sciences unit manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients. Nirma will make a mandatory open offer to all public shareholders of Glenmark Life Sciences. Following the deal, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals will retain a 7.84% stake in the company.
Julie Andrews’ 20 best film performances


23-09-21 13:32

Julie Andrews is known for her iconic roles in films such as "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music," but not all of her films have been a success. From romantic comedies to musicals, Andrews has had her fair share of hits and misses throughout her career. Some of her less successful films include "A Fine Romance," "Hawaii," and "That's Life." However, she has also had some notable successes, such as "The Americanization of Emily," "The Sound of Music," and "Mary Poppins." Despite the ups and downs of her career, Andrews remains a beloved and celebrated actress.
Brazil’s hinterland now resembles Texas


23-09-21 12:51

Brazil's agricultural boom is leading to a shift in population and economic growth from the coasts to the interior of the country. The agricultural sector, which now accounts for a quarter of GDP, has seen significant growth in recent years due to increased demand from China for soybeans, grains, and meat. This growth has led to an increase in population and job opportunities in rural areas and mid-size towns in the farmbelt region of Brazil. The city of Sinop, in the state of Mato Grosso, is a prime example of this trend, with its population growing by 73% in the past 12 years.

While the agricultural boom has brought economic growth and prosperity to these regions, it also poses challenges for the government. The expansion of farmland is encroaching on the cerrado, Brazil’s second-largest biome after the Amazon, and has environmental and political implications. Farmland owners, who tend to support right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, have been accused of contributing to deforestation and have clashed with indigenous communities and environmental activists. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was re-elected earlier this year, has tried to balance supporting agri-business with promoting greener practices. However, there is growing concern that the agricultural boom could have long-term negative consequences, such as deforestation, reduced rainfall, and the impacts of climate change.

To ensure the sustainability of Brazil’s agricultural sector, there needs to be a focus on greener practices, such as preserving native vegetation and reducing deforestation. Additionally, improving infrastructure, such as roads and logistics, could boost productivity and profitability for farmers. The government’s support for the agricultural sector will be essential in achieving these goals and ensuring the long-term success of Brazil’s farming industry.

Jeanette Winterson: I didn’t believe in ghosts… until I started living with them


23-09-21 18:00

Writer Jeanette Winterson has written about her experiences with ghosts in her small Georgian house in London. The house, which was built in the 1780s, was once home to a fruit and veg market and had a walled-up vault in the basement. Winterson believes that the vault was used for either a cesspit or to bury infected bodies. Despite being sceptical about ghosts, Winterson has felt the presence of spirits in her house for many years. She has had experiences such as hearing footsteps and seeing a woman in a grey dress. Winterson now greets the ghosts when she enters or leaves the house, but asks that they stay out of her way.
Stepmother sentenced to life in prison for torture murder of girl, 3

The Independent

23-09-21 17:15

A Pennsylvania woman, Laura Ramirez, has been sentenced to life in prison for the torture and murder of her three-year-old stepdaughter. Bella Seachrist was starved, physically abused, and tortured before her death in June 2020. Ramirez was found guilty of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and other charges. Bella's father, Jose Eduardo Salazar-Ortiz, was also convicted and sentenced to 33 to 66 years in prison. Ramirez's sister, Alexis Herrera, is scheduled to stand trial on charges related to the abuse in January. Bella's mother, Nicole, said her daughter became the target of her stepmother's anger after her father had an affair.
A UN Expert on the Institution’s Successes, Failures, and Continued Relevance


23-09-21 16:14

Minh-Thu Pham recently joined the Carnegie Endowment as a nonresident scholar.

What was it like to work at the UN, based on your years in the Secretariat?

It was both inspiring and humbling—inspiring because you get to help the community of 193 nations try to uphold the values they agreed to, and humbling because you (or at least your boss, the Secretary-General) have no power and very little influence. Everything you do is shaped by dynamics among member states, and the success of your efforts ultimately depends on whether they agree with one another or not. But when member states see it’s in their interest to cooperate, it can be pretty cool. Minh-Thu Pham Minh-Thu Pham is a nonresident scholar in the Global Order and Institutions Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. More > @M2Pham

Still, my experience was somewhat unique. I arrived at the Executive Office of the Secretary-General in January 2005, during a period of deep crisis. Under questioning from the press, then secretary-general Kofi Annan said the Iraq war was not in accordance with the UN Charter and therefore illegal. Typically tensions arise at the UN as a result of disagreement among states, but here it was between the UN’s most powerful member state (the United States) and its top official who works at the behest of its members.

That led to several U.S. congressional investigations into the UN, threats to withhold UN funding, and an independent inquiry, among other things. I was charged with staffing the UN’s response. That included several reforms, and in the end, we got agreement on the principle of Responsibility to Protect, important institutional changes on human rights and peace-building, and measures to improve management and operations.

How relevant is the UN today, nearly eight decades after it was created?

The UN’s relevance has been a question almost since its founding, but major powers ultimately decide that it’s to their benefit to try to work with it. Coordinating policy through an institution with global reach can be more efficient than working bilaterally.

That said, right now trust between governments seems to be reaching a breaking point, and the legitimacy of states such as the United States that helped establish the world order is being seriously questioned. This is happening at just the moment when global cooperation is needed the most.

Alternative clubs and pop-up alliances, while useful for certain purposes, also reflect the power transition we’re in. The expansion of the BRICS can bring those countries greater leverage at the UN, which is the only forum where the rest of the developing world is represented alongside the most powerful. At least in the medium term, I think governments will still go to the UN. If BRICS+ and others want to lead or influence the so-called Global South, they need to go where those countries are, and that’s the UN.

What explains the UN’s failures? Is it capable of reform, at least at the margins?

The UN has contributed to dramatic failures—often as a result of indecision, either when member states can’t agree, as in the war in Syria; when their agreement falls far short of what’s needed, as in Bosnia or Rwanda; or when they selectively apply, or don’t apply, international norms to suit their interests, as in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Reform can mean different things—from ongoing debate about Security Council expansion to significant but less glamorous institutional changes to help the UN better deliver. Getting countries to agree on major changes depends on trust between member states and on whether there’s a broad coalition of committed states, backed by a solid political strategy and pressure from outside.

Ultimately, reform is about changing how the UN works in order to improve it.

What’s one aspect of the UN that’s flown under the radar that you wish more people knew about?

I thought the relatively open process of creating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was itself a reform of UN decisionmaking and a story worth understanding. (That may be self-serving, since I was deeply involved.)

But what happened wasn’t a rule change but rather a practice change. In the process of deciding on the goals, member states took into account ideas and evidence from governments (including local and regional bodies), UN agencies and programs, non-UN organizations, and new stakeholders that all helped to popularize the goals and whose expertise we need to implement them. It was “networked multilateralism” in practice, and I don’t think UN decisionmaking can go back to being closed to the people most affected.

Yes, we’re off-track for achieving the goals—which were always ambitious—and the coronavirus pandemic set us further back. We’ll need the solidarity demonstrated in 2015—in the SDGs, the Paris climate agreement, and the financing for development agenda—and more to get us closer.

What do you make of the often ambivalent relationship between the UN and the United States?

It’s a tension built into the UN’s fabric. The United States helped create the UN and the existing world order, including the norms and principles that shape state behavior and the institutions that support them. Washington abides by those norms, at least most of the time, because it’s in its interest for others to see that it does and others should as well. Ultimately, the United States goes to the UN if doing so will accomplish its objectives. However, it should keep in mind that when it doesn’t go to the UN, there’s a trade-off. If the United States doesn’t go when it should, or doesn’t uphold its end of the bargain, it erodes its legitimacy as the underwriter of the global order. That’s one reason for the crisis we’re in.

What will be your focus at Carnegie?

I’m interested in how international organizations like the UN can better deliver, especially in response to profound change and compounding crises. How should these institutions adapt? The people and countries most impacted by the crisis have had very little say in what happens to them, but they will find ways to be heard. How will that play out, especially as authoritarianism is taking hold in many parts of the world, and people don’t trust their own governments to represent them or deliver for them?

Read more of Carnegie’s UNGA coverage: The Massive Challenge Facing Leaders at the SDG Summit Five Signs of Life for Global Cooperation Neither Biden nor Netanyahu Could Afford a Bad Meeting Unpacking Biden’s Remarks (video)

Groped, marginalised, abused: The realities of being a woman in football – and what must change


23-09-21 16:00

A recent article in The Telegraph highlights the experiences of women in football and the challenges they face. Female footballers often have to fight for their place in the sport, as professional women's leagues have historically been underdeveloped or non-existent. Stereotypes and societal barriers prevent many girls from playing football and pursuing their dreams. The article emphasizes the need for men to be involved in the conversation and support gender empowerment, using programmes like Coaching for Life as a blueprint for change. The goal is to create a level playing field where women are recognized for their skills and achievements, rather than being viewed as exceptions to the norm.

The article also discusses the sexism and discrimination faced by women in various roles within football, including players, pundits, and administrators. Women are often subjected to abuse, disrespected, and overlooked in the industry. The lack of diversity in football boardrooms and decision-making positions is a significant issue, as women’s voices are not always heard or valued. The article calls on men to step up and use their power and influence to effect change. The pace of change in football, sport, and society is slow, but progress can be made by promoting gender parity and diversity of thought at all levels of the game.

The article concludes by highlighting the experiences of female fans and the challenges they face. Women are often subjected to harassment and inappropriate behavior at football matches, and their knowledge and opinions on the sport are frequently dismissed or undervalued. The article emphasizes the need to challenge and change the male-dominated culture of football, promoting equal respect and recognition for women’s contributions. Overall, the article calls for a transformation of the football industry from its core, with equal resources, opportunities, and respect given to women in the sport.