Put it down! Photo: ShutterstockThe most common emotion someone feels after spending 10 minutes onFacebook is … regret.
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If you’re lying down, well the Facebook boffins have worked out you’re even less likely to exit the app, revealsThe Resilience Project founder Hugh van Cuylenburg.

“They’ve programmed you to wake up to anniversaries and memories,” he says.

“So you spend 15 minutes in bed on Facebook and then you’re left with a feeling of regret.

“What a terrible way to start your day.”

Excessive screen time is one of thekey contributing factors to an increase in mental illness, according to Van Cuylenburg.

And, let’s be very clear about one thing: social media systems like Facebook havebeen deliberately set upto get you hooked.

ADDICTION: Too much screen time has been shown to be one of the key factors in rising rates of mental illness.

“These apps are designed to use tricks to make people addicted,” he says.

Take, for instance,Facebook notifications or emails.

Dopamine is released as you are paused, waiting for the numbers to come up, Van Cuylenburg says.

“It’s exactly like a win on the pokies.”

Geelong Grammar School student welfare director John Hendry says in 2017 an adolescent’s brain receives the same information in a week that our brains used to receive in a year.

It’s an information overload that helps explains risinglevels of anxiety and depression in our youth.

Before parents go running for the hills in despair,Van Cuylenburg says there are simple ways to reduce the impact of technology.

THE SIMPLE THINGS: It was during his time volunteering in India that The Resilience Project founder Hugh van Cuylenburg discoverd how happy people could be despite having very little to call their own. From there he developed his resilience program to foster mental health and wellbeing.

To counter the wiles of Facebook, his advice is simply foreveryone to turn off their notifications.

“They are there as a way to sucker you back into the app,” he says.“The average person checks their iPhone 76 times a day.

“Turn off the notifications –make sure what you are looking at is good for you.”

READ MORE:Text neck–It’s time to start looking upThis is a man whopractises what he preaches.

Van Cuylenburg’s own app doesn’t have notifications, there’s a 10-minute check-in and then it locks people out so they can’t get back in again that day.

He recently spoke to students, teachers and parents about hissimple strategies for improving mental health.

It’s an equation he discovered while volunteering in India.

“Despite the fact these people had very little to call their own, I was continually blown away by how happy they were,” he says.

He advocatespractising three pillars ofgratitude,empathy and mindfulness.

And at the end of the day sometimesparents just have to let kids fight their own battles.

​Border Mail

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Fraught as it is to make predictions, it’s that time of year, when taking a stab at what 2018 will hold is expected of business columnists.
Nanjing Night Net

Rather than forecast where the stock market will travel in 2018, which would be another perilous pursuit, I will confine my crystal ball gazing to house prices and interest rates.

In 2017 we saw definitive signs of a change in direction on residential dwelling prices.

After some false starts there is clear evidence that the property market is cooling.

We should expect this to continue in 2018 but at this stage there are no immediate signs of the property bubble bursting and a crash in prices.

Other than Perth and Darwin which have both seen sizeable declines in property values over the past year, Sydney and Adelaide are the only cities where residential prices have started to actually decline and this should continue over the next 12 months.

In Melbourne, prices have essentially just held steady over the past few months. In the early stages of 2018 Melbourne should join its northern neighbour and prices should start to drift down.

The national property market declines will be driven by the falls in Melbourne and Sydney, which will be larger.

To the extent housing prices continue to experience a soft landing we should be grateful to the financial regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

It has essentially cleaned up the mess left by the Reserve Bank, which cut interest rates to the bone and it doing so created the preconditions for the massive increased pricing for housing.

APRA seems (to date) to have successfully employed ???macroprudential’ measures, which essentially put checks on bank lending and curb the rate of growth in interest-only loans and investor loans.

In response banks started to increase the interest rates for these borrowers, which had to effect of cooling demand.

Meanwhile, over the past couple of months, the clearing rate for housing sales has fallen significantly. This suggests seller expectations have not come down to match the market, so many properties are simply not being sold.

Real estates agents may not be happy with this trend but it does indicate the property sellers are not especially financially distressed. In other words, they are not forced sellers.

This augurs well for a steady deflation in house prices in 2018.

This view is echoed by the group that monitors and collates property prices, CoreLogic.

It expects to see a further slowdown in national housing market conditions and continued tightness on credit policies as’ regulators keep a watchful eye out for a rebound in investment credit growth or, a reversal in the trend towards fewer mortgages with a loan to valuation ratio of more than 80 per cent.

CoreLogic is also a member of the growing band of experts that don’t see an interest rate coming in 2018.

I agree with them but would go one step further and predict that we won’t see interest rates rise for at least the first half of 2019 given there is little prospect for inflation and wages growth in the short term.

(In December’s mid year economic fiscal outlook the government revised down its expectations for wages growth.)

Among economists there is little consensus. Financial markets point to a 50/50 chance of a rate rise to 1.75 per cent by the end of next year from the current rate of 1.5 per cent.

National Australia Bank economists are looking for two rate rises in 2018 – one in the middle and one towards the end.

At the other end of the spectrum, Westpac sees no rate movement in 2018.

Shane Oliver from the AMP pitches his expectations somewhere in the middle, and is looking for one rate rise in late 2018.

A last word on this from Deutsche Bank economist Adam Boyton who says, ???We continue to expect no change in official interest rates in Australia over 2018. That view reflects not just an expectation that inflation is likely to remain low and wages growth stubbornly weak; but also that household incomes and spending will remain under pressure.

While the economy is expected to continue its gradual pick up, it will be somewhat constrained until households begin to feel good again.

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Criticised: Brisbane Waters Private Hospital at Woy Woy, which opened in 1978 and has a mental health unit for more than 30 patients.REVALYN Naidoo was offered an opioid narcotic only minutes before she was discharged from a private hospital in a sedated state in January, 2012, and 40 minutes before she crashed her car on the 50-kilometre drivehome.
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She recalled “waking up to my head hitting the roof of the car and being airborne and I blacked out again. The next thing was when the ambulance was there scooping up the teeth – my broken teeth from my mouth”, a court heard.

NSW District Court Judge David Wilson, SC, has awarded Ms Naidoo nearly $100,000 plus legal costs after finding Brisbane Waters Private Hospital and her treating psychiatrist, Dr Larissa Grund, failed in their duty of care to her after she was allowed to drive home despite repeated warnings about her sedated state.

In a judgment in DecemberJudge Wilson found Ms Naidoo, 52, had a cold shower to try to wake herself up on January 17, 2012 before she was discharged, after she repeatedly fell asleep, including at breakfast,and after hospital nursing staff said her bed was needed for another patient.

Judge Wilson accepted Ms Naidoo’s evidence that she was given a dose of the strong opioid narcotic OxyContin only hours before discharge. He also accepted her evidence that she questioned whether she should take a second OxyContin dose only minutes before her discharge and the 50 kilometre drive home from Woy Woy to north ofWyong.

“I took the tablet out of the cup and I said, ‘This will just make me feel more drowsy. I’m already drowsy. This will make it worse. I promise I will take it when I get home’,”Ms Naidoo said she told nurse Anna Easson who offered the OxyContin, and a short time later gave Ms Naidoo the keys to her car.

Judge Wilson found the actions “cast doubt over the professionalism of the nurse”. Attempting to administer OxyContin at the time of discharge “was, to say the least, irresponsible”, he said.

Judge Wilson criticised the hospital which argued the scope of the duty it owed to Ms Naidoowas for hospital services only, and did not include a duty overher transportation home.

It “defied commonsense” that a fellow patient could express concern about Ms Naidoo’s ability to drive home while hospital staff failed to appreciate she was “unfit to drive, probably unfit to be discharged and not in a position herself to make a reliable assessment” of her abilities, Judge Wilson said.

He accepted Ms Naidoo’s evidence that she attempted the drive because she trusted the judgment of her carers. She was in hospital because of depression and severe pain related to a previous back injury.

Judge Wilson strongly criticised Dr Grund and ordered her to pay more than $60,000 of the nearly $100,000 in damages after finding her “cavalier attitude” to Ms Naidoo’s condition and fitness to drive on discharge was “an extraordinary breach of her duty of care” to her patient.

It followed evidence that in a letter to a doctor about Ms Naidoo Dr Grund noted that OxyContin was “probably the culprit for excessive drowsiness in days prior to discharge”.

Judge Wilson accepted Ms Naidoo’s evidence that in a conversation with Dr Grund on the day prior to discharge she expressed concern about driving due to drowsiness, and Dr Grund responded that “You should be fine to drive”.

Leaving the question of whether a “highly medicated psychiatric patient” was fit to drive to the patient was “complete neglect” of Dr Grund’s obligations as a medical care provider, Judge Wilson found.

The hospital was ordered to pay Ms Naidoo, a nurse and former Medicare Private employee, more than $32,000 in damages and Dr Grund more than $64,000 after evidence the crash not far from her home was caused by her heavily-sedated state. The crash exacerbated a previous back condition, Judge Wilson found.

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Fraught as it is to make predictions, it’s that time of year, when taking a stab at what 2018 will hold is expected of business columnists.
Nanjing Night Net

Rather than forecast where the stock market will travel in 2018 – because that is way too dangerous – of even where commodities will go – which would be another perilous pursuit – I will confine my crystal-ball gazing to house prices and interest rates.

In 2017, we saw definitive signs of a change in direction on residential dwelling prices. After some false starts there is clear evidence that the property market is cooling.

We should expect this to continue in 2018 but at this stage there are no immediate signs of the property bubble bursting and a crash in prices.

Other than Perth and Darwin, which have both seen sizeable declines in property values over the past year, Sydney and Adelaide are the only cities where residential prices have started to actually decline and this should continue over the next 12 months.

In Melbourne, prices have essentially just held steady over the past few months. In the early stages of 2018, Melbourne should join its northern neighbour and prices should start to drift down.

The national property market declines will be driven by the falls in Melbourne and Sydney, which will be larger.

To the extent housing prices continue to experience a soft landing we should be grateful to the financial regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

It has essentially cleaned up the mess left by the Reserve Bank, which cut interest rates to the bone and in doing so created the preconditions for the massive price rises for housing.

APRA seems (to date) to have successfully employed “macroprudential” measures that essentially put checks on bank lending – curbing the rate of growth in interest-only loans and investor loans.

In response, banks started to increase the interest rates for these borrowers – which had the effect of cooling demand.

Meanwhile, over the past couple of months the clearing rate for housing sales has fallen significantly, which suggests seller expectations have not come down to match the market so many properties are simply not being sold.

Real estates agents may not be happy with this trend but it does indicate the property sellers are not especially financially distressed. In other words, they are not forced sellers.

This augurs well for a steady deflation in house prices in 2018.

This view is echoed by the group that monitors and collates property prices, CoreLogic. It expects to see a further slowdown in national housing market conditions and continued tightness on credit policies as “regulators keep a watchful eye out for a rebound in investment credit growth or, a reversal in the trend towards fewer mortgages with a loan to valuation ratio of more than 80 per cent”.

CoreLogic is also a member of the growing band of experts that don’t see an interest rate rise coming in 2018.

I agree with them but would go one step further and predict that we won’t see interest rates rises for at least the first half of 2019, given there is little prospect of inflation and wages growth in the short term.

(In December’s mid-year economic fiscal outlook, the government revised down its expectations for wages growth.)

Among economists there is little consensus. Financial markets point to a 50:50 chance of a rate rise to 1.75 per cent by the end of next year from the current rate of 1.5 per cent.

National Australia Bank economists are looking for two rate rises in 2018 – one in the middle and one towards the end.

At the other end of the spectrum, Westpac sees no rate movement in 2018.

Shane Oliver from AMP pitches his expectations somewhere in the middle and is looking for one rate rise in late 2018.

And Deutsche Bank economist Adam Boyton isn’t expecting a change in rates for quite some time.

“That view reflects not just an expectation that inflation is likely to remain low and wages growth stubbornly weak; but also that household incomes and spending will remain under pressure,” he says.

While the economy is expected to continue its gradual pick-up, it will be somewhat constrained until households begin to feel good again.

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As it happened: Day one at the MCG
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David Warner had the latter of two laughs and the last in a series. Relishing the Boxing Day Ashes stage, he had muscled his way to 99 when he mistimed a push at debutant English seamer Tom Curran and popped an easy catch to mid-on. It was paradise won and lost, and batsmen and bowler both howled.

But a replay quickly revealed that this was a no-ball, whereupon batsmen and bowler were turned inside out emotionally, and their teams and the crowd with them, and intemperate words flew. The next ball delivered Warner to his hundred, but Curran went to stumps four hours later still to take the maiden Test wicket his toils this day probably merited. In Test cricket, there are many fine lines, but no middle ground.

This was at the mid-point of the day, also its fulcrum. The middle session resembled a velodrome sprint in which two cyclists ride themselves to a wobbly standstill. The English bowlers concentrated their attack wide of off stump, with fields to match, and the Australian batsmen foreswore to chase them out in that uncontrolled and unsafe space. Stuart Broad bowled one over of near wides to Warner, prompting hoots from the crowd, but not a twitch from the batsman. So with horns locked thus, a meagre 43 runs accrued in two hours, for the fall of two wickets.

The entertainment in this for another vast crowd, more than 88,000, was a matter of personal and perhaps generational proclivity. It was a bit like the bikes. If you looked only at the fact that the contest was barely moving, it was dull fare. If you looked at the interaction of forces, seen and unseen, that made it appear so, it was full fare, albeit from a nouvelle cuisine menu.

England were out to recover at least self-respect. Having lost the toss and been sentenced to field, they were unlikely to win the match this day, but they could have let it skid away disastrously. Australia were out to turn three good wins into a habit. Between them was an MCG pitch that suited neither, lacking the pace that Test quality batsmen and bowlers both prefer, the bowlers for obvious reasons, the batsmen because it feeds into timing. This pitch was not so much middle ground as no-man’s land.

Tactically, England won the period of stasis. Cam Bancroft and Usman Khawaja both fell after long, laboured innings, and between them Warner also was lost in the doldrums, adding merely three to his hundred in seven more overs, then edging Jimmy Anderson to the wicketkeeper. Three Australian wickets had been extracted for 38. Shaun Marsh survived a first-ball referral for lbw that if upheld might put this day in a different hue. Here was another fine line, this one truly imaginary: the ball was projected to be hitting the stumps, but the umpire’s decision stood.

But thanks to Warner’s genius in contriving runs, and Steve Smith’s to make them at will, and on a plane somewhere above mere Test cricket, and thanks also to Marsh’s ability to foil, Australia began and ended the day with long partnerships that gave them the narrow ascendancy.

England maintained its discipline in bowling to a plan that left no margin for error, and newcomer Curran demonstrated a clever slower ball that on this slow pitch almost died upon pitching. Contrary to reports, England have never become a rabble on this tour. Anderson excepted, its newest blood has been its reddest. But, locked into a defensive plan, England possibly missed initiatives for the taking, for instance, to go with the moment and give Curran a speculative early bowl, or to take the new ball when fell due late this day. England will say they are playing within their limitations, others that they are creating them.

Stuart Broad’s appeal is denied as he takes on Shaun Marsh. Photo: AAP

So how, as a hotel or shop might ask, how did Boxing Day measure up? Here’s one form of feedback. The first Mexican wave of the day swelled soon after lunch, betraying impatience and unrest. But there was not another for the day. Nor, though, was there anything like a full house at stumps.

Whether the rest had gone for now or for good is Cricket Australia’s question to ponder.

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As it happened: Day one at the MCG
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Milestone man David Warner celebrated the end of a four-year Ashes drought by trading barbs with England’s Test newbie as Australia dug in for the long haul on a dull MCG pitch.

Christmas came a day late for the Australian vice-captain, who posted his 21st Test century in dramatic fashion on Boxing Day, before Joe Root’s bowlers clawed their way back into the contest in the afternoon.

Captain Steve Smith was unbeaten on 65 overnight with his third century of the series appearing to be at his mercy. The home side was 3/244 at stumps on day one with their eyes set on another imposing first innings total.

The series is over but if the level of chirp from both sides is a guide they are not treating this marquee fixture as a dead rubber, though it was not as heated as in Brisbane when England felt Australia skated close to the line.

Test debutant Tom Curran lived up to his reputation as a “feisty character” by getting under Warner’s skin but had no answer after getting his comeuppance.

Warner was halfway off the MCG after holing out on 99 but was spared after video replays showed Curran had over stepped.

The following ball, the opener reached triple figures against England for the first time since the 2013/14 whitewash before unleashing a verbal barrage on the bowler. Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow also felt Warner’s wrath as he came in to defend the newcomer.

James Anderson spoke to the umpire shortly after but later denied it was related to the incident.

“He [Curran] muttered something, I didn’t let it go, I have to bite back as I normally do,” Warner said. “That will always come with a game of cricket.”

Umpires had to intervene later to speak to Shaun Marsh and Smith and the in-close fielders after more words were exchanged.

The hosts claimed the honours on the first day. But on a pitch where nothing happens in a hurry England are in the contest and can sneak ahead if they land early blows while the shine is still on the second new ball.

It was shaping as another dismal day for England when Warner cut a swathe early but the opener was the only batsman to dominate on the lifeless track.

Before a crowd of 88,172, Australia laboured at 2.33 runs an over after lunch, with only 43 runs between lunch and tea.

“Second session we did all we could with that pitch. It wasn’t exciting to watch, it wasn’t exciting to play,” Anderson said.

“That’s the pitch we have for the next five days, we just have to put up with it.”

Making the most of the extra pace on offer against the new ball, Warner reached his hundred off only 130 balls midway through the second session but runs were otherwise hard to come by. So too were wickets on a pitch which England’s bowlers extracted minimal sideways movement.

It was a banner day for Warner, who had been subdued by his standards this summer. Only three Australians – Don Bradman, Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden – have posted 6000 Test runs in fewer than the 129 innings it has taken the 31-year-old.

Warner was at his best against the new ball when mere pushes down the pitch raced to the straight boundary. Wide balls were flayed, often in the air, through the gully and point region.

He found the going tougher as the ball softened and the pace came out of the game. He met his demise on 103 when Anderson, England’s best bowler for the day, moved one away off the seam to have him caught behind.

Warner’s fluency was in contrast to Cameron Bancroft, who floundered to 26 before being trapped in front by Chris Woakes. Usman Khawaja also battled, making 17 off 65 balls before being caught behind off Stuart Broad’s bowling. It ended a run of 69.1 overs without a wicket for the veteran quick.

Smith will join Warner in the 6000-club this innings if he can reach 204, which is not improbable in his rich vein of form.

The batting wonder has now gone 454 runs without giving up his wicket at the MCG, a run which stretches back to the 2015 Boxing Day Test.

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They have been young men travelling alone, older men waiting in parked cars, young women walking along a road and middle-aged women sitting in passenger seats.
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They have occurred before dawn on lonely country roads and during peak hour in front of dozens of witnesses on major city thoroughfares.

And they have gone from having a seat at a Christmas dinner table to statistics in the soaring festive season road toll which now sits at 20 dead across NSW in 11 days.

Senior police made their latest plea for holidaymakers to remain safe after three people were killed and a further two suffered life-threatening injuries during a two-vehicle crash on the Princes Highway south of Sussex Inlet on Tuesday.

The highway at Mondayong near Bendalong was closed in both directions on Tuesday morning after a man driving a Prado collided with a Mazda carrying four people.

The man in the Prado and two people in the front of the Mazda were killed.

Two women were pulled from the back of the Mazda by witnesses and police as fire engulfed the vehicles.

They were flown to separate hospitals in critical conditions.

Police are working to identify the burnt remains of the dead.

NSW Highway and Traffic commander Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said the crash was “an absolute tragedy” and police were investigating reports the Prado was on the wrong side of the road before the crash.

“Three people look like they’ve been incinerated and we have two very, very critically injured people,” he told reporters in Sydney.

“If that doesn’t send a message out about driving behaviour on our roads in NSW over this Christmas period nothing will,” he added, pleading with motorists to drive safely.

The tragedy followed the death of a man after his car hit an embankment at Pappinbarra, about 40 kilometres from Port Macquarie, about 6.50am on Tuesday.

The four Boxing Day deaths, plus a pedestrian who died several days after being struck in Bonnyrigg, and the death of a woman in a single-vehicle crash at Taree on Tuesday evening, took the Christmas-New Year road toll to 20.

In the first 11 days of Operation Safe Arrival last year, seven people had been killed on NSW roads.

And with six days still to go, this year’s toll is already seven more than for the entire 18-day period last year.

“That is more than one person a day which is quite alarming. It is just not good enough,” Mr Corboy said.

“NSW residents need to take some responsibility and realise that all it takes is one distraction and you could lose your life or kill a family travelling on the roads this holiday period.

“It is a time to be merry and enjoy spending time with your family and unfortunately day after day, police are left to pick up the pieces and deliver horrific messages to families.”

He said there were more police on roads targeting drivers for dangerous behaviours that have led to loss of life on our roads, including speeding, drink and drug-driving, mobile phone use, and not wearing seatbelts. Double demerits remain in force.

The deaths have pushed the state’s road toll this year to 381, about the same as the 2016 figure but an increase of more than 30 deaths from 2015.

“We have gone from disappointed to being angry and that’s an understatement,” Mr Corboy said.

“It has actually strengthened our resolve and we will be putting in place more and more police officers from now until the end of the year.”

with AAP

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Race favourite LDV Comanche has lodged a formal protest against Wild Oats XI after the two yachts almost collided soon after the start of this year’s Sydney to Hobart.
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The two glamour yachts narrowly avoided contact, which would have probably ended both of their races and potentially caused millions of dollars of damage.

Owner Jim Cooney confirmed during the mandatory 5pm radio call that his team would follow through with the protest after they raised the red flag moments after the incident.

It must file a protest within six hours of arriving in Hobart, and an international jury will meet after the race to hear the case.

“We had a near miss with Wild Oats,” Cooney said via satellite phone.

After a slow start, Wild Oats XI picked up speed through Sydney Harbour and came close to colliding with LDV Comanche just before passing the seamarks outside the Heads.

The LDV Comanche crew were left gesticulating wildly towards their opponents moments before the red protest flag was raised.

LDV Comanche helmsman James Spithall could be heard shouting “How far the lay line?” to navigator Stan Honey moments after the near miss.

Wild Oats XI had the option to make a 720-degree turn when safe to do so after the incident, and this would have saved them from a protest hearing and subsequent penalty but decided against doing so.

Richards’ crew discussed making the penalty turn but decided not to engage in the manoeuvre.

“We didn’t think there was an infraction,” Wild Oats XI navigator Ian Burns said.

“We discussed the 720-degree penalty and decided we didn’t need to under the circumstances. [We] continued on, aware of the fact Comanche put up the red protest flag.”

Wild Oats XI is facing punishment from the incident should the jury find it guilty. That will most likely come in the form of a time penalty, a minimum of which would be five minutes.

LDV Comanche bounced back from the near miss and established a handy lead late on Tuesday with a favourable north-easterly expected to push her along even further overnight.

Richards’ crew and fellow super maxi Black Jack are counting on calm conditions on the Derwent River in Storm Bay as key to their chances of reeling in Cooney’s hulking yacht.

Should a tight finish unfold in the Derwent River, a time penalty could have a significant bearing on the line-honours result of the race.

Eight-time winner Wild Oats XI is chasing its first race win in three years, but its luck has turned significantly since finishing first across the line in 2014.

This latest incident follows a lightning strike to the mast in the lead-up to the race that destroyed the boat’s navigation systems, forcing a last-minute scramble to replace the equipment.

Fellow super maxi Black Jack lent the boat some spare navigation equipment to ensure Richards’ team could chase a record ninth line-honours win.

Last year Wild Oats XI retired after the first night when a damaged hydraulics ram prematurely ended its campaign.

That followed on from 2015 when a rapid wind change shredded its mainsail, again forcing it into an early retirement.

LDV Comanche, meanwhile, is aiming for a second win in three years after claiming line honours in 2015. She didn’t contest the 2015 race and was only recently purchased by Cooney.

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Nothing could wipe the smile off Ben Hill’s face on Christmas Day, even with the lingering reminders of a racing crash, seven damaged vertebrae, a ruptured appendix and visa delays in China.
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In fact, Canberra-based cyclist Hill is feeling so good he’s starting to think about jumping back on his bike for the first time in almost two months.

Hill arrived back in Australia at 10am on Monday to spend Christmas with his family in Scone, marking the end of an seven-week ordeal that left in on the side of the road gasping for breath.

Hill crashed on slippery roads during the penultimate stage of the Tour of Hainan in November, veering off the course when his brakes locked up.

But what Hill thought was a safe landing strategy turned into a more than two-metre drop off the side of a mountain, leaving him with a compression fracture in seven vertebrae.

If the pain of a broken back and language barrier wasn’t hard enough, Hill also had issues with his lungs, his appendix ruptured and his visa expired before he even got out of hospital.

“I just couldn’t make it around the corner and slipped over the edge,” Hill said.

“It was initially supposed to be four weeks in hospital, but then after four weeks my appendix ruptured so that delayed everything another week. Unfortunately, Ben suffered a nasty crash in Stage 8 of the Tour of Hainan. He fractured his T-6 and T-8 and suffered contusions to his lungs. Fortunately, he is expected to make a complete recovery. However, he will spend the next 3 weeks in China receiving treatment until his spine is recovered enough to stay upright for a prolonged period of time. This is Ben keeping things positive as he is being wheeled to another building for an MRI scan. #fighterA post shared by Ben Hill (@ben_hill_procyclist) on Nov 9, 2017 at 12:56am PSTA post shared by David Hill (@sconephotographics) on Dec 24, 2017 at 6:22pm PSTThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.Read More →

John Hunter Hospital staff specialist and University of Newcastle academic Professor Nicholas Talley, a world-renown expert in the links between the brain and the gut. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.WHETHER it is “butterflies in the stomach” or a “gut feeling”, all of us will regularly feel what we perceive to be an emotional response in the pit of the stomach.
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Those phrases – along with others such as “gut-wrenching” – passed into the language because they accurately describe what we feel. But until quite recently, conventional medicine had no real place for such notions. The stomachand the rest of the alimentary canal hadbut a single purpose: to keep us sustained.

Modern science, however, has revealed a complex set of interactions betweenour guts and our brains: not only does a troubled brain send signals to the gut –hence the heaving stomach at times of stress –but newer studies have indicated that a troubled gut can adversely affect the brain.

One of the foremost researchers in this field is University of Newcastle academic, Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley, who is also a staff specialist and gastroenterologistat John Hunter Hospital. Professor Talley has enjoyed a distinguished career in the United States, and subsequently in Australia, having been an author on more than 1000 published academic papers, and having received more than $10 million in grant funding.

In his latest work, Professor Talley is investigating the role of environmental and dietary factors in gut problems including one of our modern mystery conditions, irritable bowel syndrome. While it had been understood that anxiety could cause stomach upsets, a 12-year study that Professor Talley was involved with showed that in many cases, it was inflammation of the gut driving the anxiety, and not the other way around. Experts also believe the gut may also be involved in conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Professor Talley’s work is important from any angle, but it also shows that regional centres such as Newcastle have the ability to attract top-notch academics, and that Newcastle university and the Hunter Medical Research Institute arecapable of competing with the big “sandstone” universities in the capital cities when it comes to attracting talent. This is especially important at a time when Newcastle is looking to build a new economic base away from its former foundations of steel and manufacturing. The more success that the Hunter can recordacademically, the better off the region will become. And that’s not just a gut feeling.

ISSUE: 38,684.

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