Intensive Parenting Is Bad for Parents’ Social Lives


The economists Matthias Doepke and Fabrizio Zilibotti explain that the turn to intensive parenting was, in part, a reaction to rising economic inequality. In their book, Love, Money and Parenting, they argue that in countries with high social inequality, such as the U.S. and China, parents are required to do far more to support and prepare their children, because business and government do so little. This reality stands in contrast to low-social-inequality countries that have more family-friendly policies, such as Germany and Sweden. Looked at another way: If I don’t have to worry about paying for good-quality preschool, high school, or college; if I know that my child will be okay even without a college degree, because there are plenty of decent jobs when they leave home; if I know I won’t be bankrupted by my child’s illness—let alone my own—then it’s easier for me to relax and hang out with my friends.

According to one study, the average number of close relationships that adults had with friends, co-workers, and neighbors decreased by a third from 1985 to 2004. Meanwhile, the number of hours they spent with children skyrocketed. From 1965 to 2011, married fathers nearly tripled their time (from 2.6 hours to 7.2 hours a week) with children, while married mothers increased their time by almost a third (from 10.6 hours to 14.3 hours a week) in the same time period, according to a 2013 report by Pew. In that time, single mothers almost doubled the amount of time spent with their children, from 5.8 hours a week in 1985 to 11.3 hours a week in 2011, while single fathers went from less than one hour a week in 1985 to about eight hours a week in 2011.

Spending more time with children has been a trend over the past half century, not just in the U.S. but in other wealthy Western countries. However, many of those societies have social policies that don’t force parents to create this time by giving up their social lives. Instead “many Scandinavian and Western European countries have obtained shorter standard work weeks through legislation or collective bargaining,” according to a 2020 report by the Brookings Institution.

Friendships matter. Although countless studies report their value in maintaining physical and emotional well-being, it seems that when American parents feel crunched, their friendships tend to get sacrificed. In many ways, today’s parents seem to hope their children will provide the meaning and support prior generations of parents received from adult friends, hobbies, and organizational memberships. According to a survey conducted in 2012 by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, nearly three-quarters of parents of school-age children said they hoped to be best friends with their children when they’re grown. This hope is being fulfilled, to some degree. Studies show that parents and their adult children have far more frequent and affectionate contact than they did only four decades before.

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Nature documentaries including David Attenborough’s Dynasties come under fire for presenting animals’ lives as ‘soap operas’ and not reality



Nature documentaries including the BBC series Dynasties show animals’ lives as ‘soap operas’, a new study claims. 

UK researchers argue that the portrayal of animals in nature shows, while entertaining, risks spreading ‘misconceptions’ about species in the wild.

In their research paper, they’re largely critical of Dynasties, which was broadcast in 2018 and narrated by the legendary British and naturalist Sir David Attenborough. 

The study authors claim Dynasties – which is returning for a second series in 2022 – was pieced together with footage to form a dramatic, scripted narrative, just like a drama starring human actors. 

They believe nature documentaries may have become a little too focused on drama and tension, rather than giving an accurate depiction of life in the wild. 

Portraying wild animals as ‘soap opera-style characters’ in this way is ‘neither honest nor helpful’, they say in their paper, and can distort public understanding of matters like conservation. 

The paper has been authored by experts at Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford, as well as University of Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) and the University of Gloucestershire. 

‘Natural history documentaries are the closest many will get to seeing featured animals and their behaviour in the wild,’ said study author Professor Keith Somerville at DICE.

‘They are a significant source of information to highlight wildlife, conservation, and environmental issues. 

‘Therefore, it is critical that rather than framing “stories” as soap operas to gain emotive impact, more focus is given to showing the true problems that exist in the natural world today.’ 

Although the authors mention the TV shows Meerkat Manor and Big Cat Diary, most of their study dissects Dynasties, which is still available to watch on BBC iPlayer. 

Dynasties aimed to tell the ‘true stories’ of the featured species – chimpanzees, emperor penguin, lion, African wild dog and tiger – each of which had their own hour-long episode that made up the series. 

A common theme seen throughout the analysis of Dynasties was the portrayal of animals and their behaviour as though they have similar minds, motivations and personalities as people – known as anthropomorphism.

For example, the first episode shows the life of a dominant male chimpanzee – christened by the BBC ‘David’ – leading a troop in a Senegalese forest.

The life of a male within such a troop is all about ‘power, politics and the fight for survival’ – which arguably more accurately describes human behavioural traits. 

Viewers are told that as the dry season begins, David’s potential competitors are gathering, that he’s alone and that he’s ‘never been more vulnerable’. 

‘Anthropomorphism may in some circumstances enable people to relate more easily to wildlife and conservation issues,’ the team write.

‘[But] film‐makers and scientists who may contribute to documentaries do need to ensure that excessive anthropomorphism that may mislead or distort reality is avoided.’

Also, false jeopardy, where normal situations in animals’ lives are presented as though they are unusual and far more dangerous than they really are, was commonly used to create suspense.

In a later scene, a fight between David and a group of young males is shown – at the end of which the screen fades to black with melodramatic music, implying death.

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The Lives of These Russian Christian Military Heroes Will Blow Your Mind


This article originally appeared on: Russian Faith, a new website with news about the Christian renaissance in Russia. See their introductory video at end of article.


“Stand for the Faith and the Russian Land!” so go the words of the song “A Farewell of Slavic Women.” These words have resounded harmoniously throughout the Russian lands like echoes from the bygone years, dancing across the Ukrainian fields. They represent the beautiful symphony that exists between the Russian Church, the military, and state which we have covered extensively.

Whilst there are endless tales of great Heroes, far too many to describe in one article, let’s take a look through Russian history, zooming in on the host of some of the most obscure, and some of the most legendary Russian warriors. Let us take a look at how Russian people see their country as protected by God through the lives of some of her greatest heroes. Below is a portal of Russian Heroes which we have already written about.

Write us in the comment section down below and tell us which Russian Heroes you want to read about, and maybe they’ll get their own article. As we continue to write about them, this page will be updated. Check back in for the latest stories!


Saint Olga of Kiev and all Rus’

Would it shock you to know, that when I think of a great Russian military leader, the first that comes to mind is a woman? Were it not for her, Russia may very well be called Drevlia today. In those days, Russians almost lost their motherland, but by means of Olga, they had it restored, and they called it Russia again.

This Warrior-Princess conquered the tribe that killed her husband, enamored the Roman Emperor so much he wanted to marry her, burned a city to the ground using only birds, established one of the earliest tax systems, and is single-handedly responsible for saving Russia. Her grandson Vladimir the Great, baptized the entire nation in the river Dnipro, beginning the period we call Holy Russia.

Saint Ilya Muromets

Ilya of Murom is Russia’s Christian Hercules. He was born a crippled peasant, wrestled with a Holy Mountain in the form of a Giant, slept in his tomb for three days, and arose the mightiest warrior in the Russian lands, only to finish his life as a quite humble monk.

You can still see the body of this 11th-century hero undecayed with your own eyes! The sleep of Ilya Muromets represents an ancient secret trait dormant in the blood of Russian people, to find out what that is and more, draw your bowstring and let the arrow of your mind fly back into the bygone years, and into the life of this legendary Bogatyr.

Saints Alexander Peresvet and Andrei of Radonezh

What happens when Mongols invade Russia and threaten to destroy her faith? You get the Russian Christian version of Shaolin monks, that’s what. Don’t let the skulls and crossbones on their robes fool you, they are not pirates, in fact, they are far deadlier.

When Saint King Dmitri came looking for a blessing to fight the invaders, he found in Saint Sergius’s monastery his two champions. These monks helped win the battle of Kulikovo Fields. , when Russia went to the fields as multiple warring principalities and returned as a united country. Though perhaps, one could argue she was united long before.


A video introducing the Russian Faith website:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQAwrhS15QI

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Opera singer Leah Oswin transforms lives of young singers in Port Fairy


Each week, Bridie Mason steps into her Saturday morning singing lessons with her older sister Ebony.

Sometimes, Bridie can be feeling pretty low as she arrives, but she always skips out of her singing lesson with a grin.

“I have a little bit of anxiety,” said Bridie, pausing to swallow a rising sadness.

Shouldering the burden of anxiety is a lot to carry for a 12-year-old girl. Just to name her experience looks like it takes all her courage.

“It [the anxiety] does happen a little bit,” she said, crying.

“Especially in [the] past few weeks, it’s actually … popped up a lot.

Leah Oswin is Bridie and Ebony’s beloved singing teacher.

An opera singer from Melbourne, she walked away from the bright lights and concert halls to start a family by the sea in Victoria’s Port Fairy.

Now, Ms Oswin teaches over 70 students, from ages four through to 80, and has noticed that the benefits of consistent singing lessons are not just for the voice.

“Lots of people come for so many different reasons,” she said.

Ms Oswin said that some of her students attended with a performance goal in mind, or to surprise their family and friends at an event.

Some parents of primary-aged students even send their children along to improve their reading.

“But then, of course, they’re reading lyrics of songs during practice every night.

“I had a mum call me just the other day to say that their child had gone from level one in reading up to level four since they’ve been with me this term.”

Other people learn to sing to support their mental health.

“I have a lot of adults, several have anxiety, some with depression,” Ms Oswin said.

After their warm-ups, Ms Oswin’s students are allowed to sing whatever they enjoy singing.

For Bridie, that means leaping about the room while singing songs from comedic musicals like Calamity Jane and Trolls.

For others, it could be Guns N’ Roses or Jimmy Barnes.

The Mason sisters are accompanied to the weekly sessions by their mother, Melanie Mason, who relishes in watching how the process of learning to sing is positively shaping the development of her daughters.

“They’ve both always had reasonable voices, but they were very quiet, they’d talk very quietly and sing very quietly.

“Now they just walk in and their singing is amazing.”

Ms Mason said her daughters had become more self-assured since developing their singing voices.

“They’ve grown so much as people as well — they are a lot more confident.”

Ms Oswin also attributes the increased confidence and improvements in her students’ mood to the classical scales she uses during lessons.

“A lot of the time there’s a lot of nerves coming into the studio, but I find once they have walked in the door, the nerves start to calm,” she said.

“The exercises and scales we work on, they’re all about engaging your breathing.”

Ms Oswin says that she urges her students to be as natural as they can and to “stand tall”.

“Stand naturally to release the tension not just in their torso, but also the often ignored tension in the lips, jaw and tongue,” she said

“Which I think then translates into a freeing of emotion, and then people experience a pouring out.”

Ms Oswin said some of her clients used singing to help “unload” personal trauma.

“You get people that come in, and if they’re going through any trauma, there’s a lot of tension,” she said.

“But then when we work through different scales or different pieces, it’s an unloading.

It is this physical work required in the act of singing that psychotherapist Daniel R Rothschild believes can change the body and our experience of the world.

“I believe that singing is the seizing of a world,” Dr Rothschild said.

“By taking up the singing stance and releasing our voice in a certain way, it’s almost like we’re saying, ‘This is how I choose to be in the world’.

“When we change our body in that way, we feel more competent and capable of moving through the world more effectively.”

Dr Rothschild has been a singer his whole life, he has also been a singing teacher, and is now a psychotherapist and senior lecturer at the Ikon Institute in Melbourne.

His specialty is in voice, sound and its implications for therapy.

Dr Rothschild’s research on the topic began with his PhD, which applied the philosophy of phenomenology to the act of singing.

“The body has this way of interpreting the world through what it can do,” he said.

His research findings reinforce the observations Ms Oswin has seen in her many students over time.

One of Ms Oswin’s adult students is actor Marissa Bennett, who has been taking lessons in order to overcome her fear of singing in public.

Ms Bennett experiences anxiety and says that the compounding effects of attending weekly singing lessons have given her more courage in her daily life.

“If I’m doing it consistently, it permeates throughout my life [so] that I do feel more brave,” she said.

Ms Oswin noticed that when her students adapted their mouths and breathing in order to sing better, they sometimes produced sounds they had never made before, which caused some dramatic reactions.

She became quickly accustomed to her students experiencing unbridled outpourings of emotion whilst mid-note.

“Lots of tears can happen in here,” she said.

Marissa Bennett has experienced these mid-lesson outpourings and attributes them to the alterations that must occur inside the body, in order to sing a clear note.

“There’ll be moments in class where I’m just like, ‘Oh, God,'” she said.

Ms Bennett believes that her emotions are connected to what happens physiologically when she sings.

“When you’re singing, you have to really follow your breath to make sound and to hit particular notes,” she said.

“You can’t hold back or it’ll affect the sound.”

Ms Bennett said it was through connecting with her soft palate that she felt most emotional.

“When you raise that soft palate when you’re singing, when you drop your jaw, and everything just has to be open, it’s, for me, it’s really connected to vulnerability and a space that I don’t normally inhabit in a day-to-day life,” she said.

Dr Rothschild explained this tearful phenomenon through the words of the 20th-century Swiss musicologist, Ernst Bloch.

“[Bloch] says that singing is a cry, expressing an urge and appeasing it at the same time,” he said.

“When we’re able to belt and release in that way, we get out all of those things that the simple signifier of word just can’t contain.

Ms Oswin finds that the outpourings are helpful because they release tension, which results in a better sound.

“Once the voice frees up, there’s no squashing of sound,” she said.

“The tone then is beautiful and bright.”

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Inside the lives of Woody Allen and Soon-Yi’s daughters Bechet and Manzie Allen


They’re the daughters of one of the most scandalous and complicated couples in modern history.

But Bechet and Manzie Allen have survived and, by some accounts, thrived, as the children of Soon-Yi Previn, 50, and director Woody Allen, 85 — who was in a long-term relationship with Soon-Yi’s mother, Mia Farrow, when he and the then-teenager began their affair.

The couple have now been wed for 24 years. Bechet, 22, adopted from China, is a final-year student majoring in art history at Bard College. Manzie, 21, adopted from Texas, is a junior at Whittier College in California.

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The young women have shunned the spotlight and never given an interview, but they have praised their parents on social media for years.

Bechet and Manzie declare their love for Soon-Yi and Woody, who they call “Pa” or “Pops,” on a regular basis and have defended the two, especially since the damning four-part docu-series Allen v. Farrow began airing on Foxtel last month.

The series premiered locally express from the US in February, with episodes airing weekly on FOX SHOWCASE and On Demand. Tonight, the final episode will air.

It focuses on the accusation of sexual abuse by Woody involving Dylan, his then 7-year-old daughter with Mia, as well as his relationship with Soon-Yi — which was exposed after Mia found nude photos of Soon-Yi in Woody’s home.

Allen has always denied the charges and said in a statement after the first episode that the documentary was a “hatchet job” and “riddled with falsehoods.”

“I am proud of my parents,” Bechet posted on Instagram last month. “I consider myself one of the luckiest people on Earth to be adopted by these two wonderful people.”

Watch Allen v. Farrow on Foxtel or On Demand. New to Foxtel Now? Get a 10-day free trial now. Sign up at foxtel.com.

RELATED: Chilling unseen clip of Woody’s daughter

A family insider said the sisters have some of the same rebelliousness their parents do.

It was on display when Bechet hit back at commenters who called her father a “predator” and a “sexual abuser” on a since-deleted post.

“Before you start saying things like this, you should think about whether or not you can back your claims,” she wrote.

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“If you’ve read at all about the investigation that happened years ago, you will realise that you don’t have any reason to be commenting on things like this on my Instagram posts … “But this is my family and my life and the fact that you think you have any right to express your uninformed opinions on my Instagram, for whatever reason I don’t know, is ridiculous. We should live in a world where we question the validity of the information that is constantly being thrown at us on the internet and in the media. We need to do better.”

She also spoke out about people posting photos of herself as a child with Woody and assuming it was him with Soon Yi.

“A friendly reminder,” she wrote in a now-deleted post showing a snapshot that had been labelled “Woody Allen and his future wife.” “But no, keep being racists. It’s not your fault you can’t tell us apart, I guess we just all look the same.”

The Post was unable to reach either sister for comment.

In 2018, Manzie posted a photo of herself with Woody and Bechet. “Happy Father’s Day to the best best best dad. You are my hero and I love you more than anything in the world.”

In December she posted a photo of herself with Woody on his birthday, calling him “my favourite person ever. I love you so so so so so so much.”

Soon-Yi gets the same amount of love.

“Happy Mother’s Day to this QUEEN,” Manzie captioned a picture of her mum on a recent Mother’s Day. “Thank you for everything you are.”

The sisters grew up in luxury in a $33 million English country-style townhouse on the Upper East Side, on the same street where Allen shot some scenes for Annie Hall in 1977.

Their social media photos show them in jet-set hot spots such as Paris, Milan, Venice and Aspen — as well as hanging with friends in New York and Malibu. They both post a lot of childhood photos with Woody and Soon-Yi.

“They’re two very normal girls,” a longtime family friend told the Post. “I talk to Woody on the phone all the time and when the girls were growing up, he’d always be excusing himself to take them to school or go to some parent-teacher conference.”

Woody is the easygoing parent, the friend said, and “Soon-Yi is the disciplinarian. She’s the boss.”

The family friend said Woody would arrange his yearly filming schedule to accommodate the girls’ vacations when they attended the Brearley School and, later, their colleges to allow them to accompany him on film sets.

In the summer of 2019, for example, Bechet and Manzie were part of the crew in San Sebastian, Spain, for their father’s latest movie, Rifkin’s Festival. According to IMDB, Bechet was a “costume trainee” in the costume department and Manzie was a production assistant.

In contrast to the sisters’ low profile, two of Woody’s adopted children with his ex Mia Farrow — Dylan, 35, and Ronan Farrow, 33 — have waged war on their dad for years. Bechet and Manzie have reportedly never met their two half-siblings, who are also their aunt and uncle (through Soon-Yi).

The last episode of the four-part HBO documentary Allen v. Farrow airs on Foxtel tonight. At the heart of the series is Dylan Farrow’s long-held accusation that Woody, her father, sexually assaulted her in the attic of Mia’s Connecticut home in 1992, when she was 7.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Allen and Soon-Yi said the allegations were “categorically false.”

Woody remains the legal father of Dylan and Ronan, but he has reportedly not seen them since August 5, 1992, the day after the alleged abuse happened. Woody has never been charged in the case, after Connecticut State Police investigated the allegations.

Allen v. Farrow has also laid bare — again — the unusual origins of Woody’s relationship with Soon-Yi, who is the adopted daughter of Mia and her second husband, conductor André Previn.

Woody met her when he started dating Mia in 1980, when Soon-Yi was about 10.

After Mia encouraged Woody to take a teenaged Soon-Yi to watch Knicks games, the relationship between the two began to grow. According to the documentary, Soon-Yi began going to Woody’s apartment, alone, when she was still in high school. But his camp has always said she was about 19, and a freshman at Drew University in New Jersey, when they began a romance.

Woody’s sister and longtime producer, Letty Aronson, who now acts as his spokesperson, did not respond to a call from The Post.

The director’s detractors have described him as a sexual predator who groomed an underage Soon-Yi, accusations that have reached a crescendo with the revelations in Allen v. Farrow.

Supporters point out that Woody never lived with Mia and family in her Central Park West apartment, nor was he considered a father to her children with Previn. (Mia is the mother of 14 children altogether but three of her adopted kids, Lark, Tam and Thaddeus, have died, the latter two by suicide.)

Woody is the biological father of Ronan, né Satchel, and adopted the Texas-born Dylan and South Korean-born Moses Farrow after Mia did. Moses, now 43, originally denounced Woody for the alleged abuse of Dylan but later recanted his statements, saying he’d been pressured to lie by his mother.

In 2018, Moses wrote a lengthy blog post, “A Son Speaks Out,” in which he said Mia was an abusive mother and that Woody never sexually abused Dylan. Moses was one of the children present at Mia’s Connecticut country home, Frog Hollow, on August 4, 1992, the day Dylan says Allen assaulted her.

Moses is now an adoption trauma counsellor in Connecticut and father of two children. He posts periodic videos on YouTube talking about his late siblings Thaddeus, Tam and Lark. “Adoptees like me, like Thaddeus, like my other siblings, it’s known now we are four times more likely to commit suicide,” he once said. “We are fragile and vulnerable and desperately just want to be seen and heard.”

Moses is now close with Woody again and knows his sisters/nieces Bechet and Manzie, according to an insider.

“(The girls) don’t give a s**t about all that,” the family friend told the Post about the fact that Moses is both their half-brother and their uncle. “They just call him Uncle Moses.”

Nor do Woody or Soon-Yi much care, after all these years, what the outside world thinks of them.

Three different insiders toldthe Post that they believe that both Woody and Soon-Yi truly love one another.

Bechet once wished her parents a happy 22nd anniversary on Instagram. “Here’s to the strongest love I’ve ever seen,” she wrote.

Soon-Yi was born in Seoul, South Korea, around 1970 (she has no birth certificate and her approximate age was determined by bone scans) and was found living on the streets at age 5 in 1976, a starving runaway eating out of dumpsters before being adopted by Mia and Previn.

“I remember being extremely poor,” Soon-Yi said in a 2018 New York magazine interview. “You know, no furniture, nothing. Just a bare room and a mother and we had a backyard, kind of with concrete. Then I decided one day to run away. That this couldn’t be for life, that there must be something better out there.”

The two do have something in common however. They both have said their mothers were physically abusive.

Woody tried to make a documentary about his mum, Nettie Konigsberg, and Mia’s mother, actress Maureen O’Sullivan, years ago but never finished it.

He planned to call it Two Mothers and he interviewed his own mother for it, asking her why “you would hit me every day when I was a child … You were always slapping me.”

Previn told New York magazinethat Mia would slap her across the face or spank her with a hairbrush while calling her “stupid” or “moronic.”

These days, the family friend said Woody and Soon-Yi’s relationship has evolved somewhat now that Woody has severe vision loss in one eye.

“We’ve double-dated with them and it’s very sweet to see how caring Soon-Yi is with him, how they’ve gone from hand-holding to her taking his arm on the street. At the same time she can be very funny and snap at him if he fumbles for his keys one too many times,” the friend said.

The friend added that Woody was “devastated” back in the 1990s when he stopped seeing his children Dylan and Ronan — forever.

“At the time it was terrible,” the friend said. “But at the end of the day it’s the family he has now that matters to him and it’s the family no one can take away from him.”

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and is reproduced here with permission.



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Girl, 8, who died from ‘shock’ brain bleed will save five lives with organ donations


A family mourning their eight-year-old daughter who passed away suddenly have found some comfort in the fact their little girl will eventually save five lives with her organs.

And she has already saved three.

Caireann Gildea, from Point Cook in Melbourne, died suddenly after she suffered a ruptured AVM (arteriovenous malformation) in her brainstem on March 7 2020.

Just the day before she died she had competed in a Little Athletics tournament and had won the 200m race. Her family described her sudden death as a “shock”.

For the one year memorial of her death, her mother Kathy, 41, and father Neal, 42, have remembered her beautiful presence in this world, including that she will save the lives of five strangers.

“We lost someone but (someone else has) gained a better life,” Kathy told 7NEWs.com.au.

It was an ordinary day for the Gildea family on March 1 2020.

But then Caireann (pronounced like Karen) started “screaming that her head was exploding,” Kathy said.

She was struggling to breathe and Neal said “We saw her go blue”.

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Ava dives in to save lives


She completed 800 metres in an hour in her first swim alone, and is chasing a goal of 3km for March in both 25 and 50 metre pools.

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Wokeness blighting lives of ‘entire generation’


Prime Minister Scott Morrison clearly has no idea what a pernicious and sinister ideology wokeness really is, according to Sky News host Rowan Dean.

“It is blighting the lives of an entire generation, your generation prime minister, those kids growing up in the Morrison years. And their confusion and unhappiness will be your legacy,” Mr Dean said.

“As far as I’m concerned, the woke revolution seeks to deliberately foment hatred between Australians, to break us down into warring tribes, to create a fraudulent and corrupt morality based on historical lies and to generate a spiralling sense of permanent outrage on the one hand and remorseless, unforgiving and unforgiven shame on the other and embed them as our twin national characteristics.

“Scott Morrison, where are you? And if you won’t lead the fight against woke supremacy and woke tyranny, can you please recommend someone who will.”

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A Third COVID-19 Vaccine To Help Save Lives


 

Hope is on the horizon. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Janssen Covid-19 Vaccine under emergency use authorization (EUA) on February 27. With 28.4 million confirmed U.S. cases and 508,300 fatalities, we need all the help we can get. We now have three approved vaccines for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies is the vaccine arm of Johnson & Johnson. The Janssen vaccine is now approved for use in people 18 years and older. It only requires a single dose to be effective and is not burdened by the cold storage requirements, which slowed the distribution of the two previously approved vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer. This vaccine can be mass-produced and widely distributed to help get more shots in more arms as fast as possible.

Like the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the Jansen vaccine does not contain a live virus. One cannot catch Covid-19 from these vaccines.

In the past few months, we have heard a lot about how the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) to invoke immunity. A single strand of mRNA delivers instructions to human cells to produce an antibody against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

The Janssen vaccine uses much older technology by altering a common adenovirus to be used as a delivery system. Adenoviruses are the group of viruses causing the common cold. These viruses can be genetically altered to maintain their efficient ability to get into our bodies but remove their ability to make us sick. This combination makes them excellent vectors to create vaccines.

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies proprietary vaccine technology platform, called AdVac, successfully created the Ebola vaccine currently used in the Congo and Rwanda. AdVac is being used to develop vaccine candidates against HIV, RSV, and Zika.

The Janssen vaccine uses Adenovirus 26 (AD26) as the vector to deliver DNA material into our cells to provoke an immune response. Scientists modify the adenovirus by removing its nucleus. They replace the nucleus with genetic instructions to recreate the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Our bodies then produce the spike protein triggering our immune system to produce protective antibodies without causing us to get sick.

Forty-four thousand people participated in Janssen’s safety and efficacy clinical trials in the United States, South Africa, and Latin America. The data shows the Janssen vaccine is 72% effective and offered 86% protection against severe disease.

One unanswered scientific question is whether or not vaccinated individuals can still transmit Covid-19 to others. We do not yet know the answer, but the Janssen data in the FDA briefing document reveals promising results. Vaccination reduced asymptomatic infections by 74%.

Some may be alarmed by the lower efficacy rate of 72% compared to the 95% efficacy offered by Pfizer and Moderna. It is important to remember these numbers are not direct head-to-head comparisons. Scientists performed the clinical trials for each vaccine in different parts of the world at various pandemic stages.

The key takeaway is all three vaccines are very effective.

This post was previously published on Medium Coronavirus Blog.

***

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Rae Dunn: Women reveal addiction to cult TKMaxx item that is ruining lives


The adorable ceramics and printed designs have got shoppers all over the world obsessed, but some people say it’s gone too far.

If you’ve been living under a rock, I can forgive you for not knowing about TK Maxx.

It is my sanctuary, my home away from home and my happy place.

The premise of the store is that it’s kind of like a treasure hunt, you never quite know what will be in the store when you arrive, they don’t sell anything online, so you never know if you’ll stumble across a discounted pair of designer shoes or a cute piece of homeware

One brand that I’ve noticed consistently in-store that has never been of much interest to me personally, is Rae Dunn. And it wasn’t until I got onto TikTok that I realised just how big a cult following these items had. 

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Some Rae Dunn items in TK Maxx. Source: TK Maxx Instagram

RELATED: The cult kitchen item helping people lose weight

Rae Dunn obsession 

Rae Dunn’s work includes various ceramics and potteries as well as printed items like towels and cushions. Most designs feature a simple signature font on a cute imperfect object. 

Rae told ABC30 in America imperfect was what she was going for: “When I first started, my pottery teacher said, ‘Smooth those out, you want it to be perfect’, and I was like, ‘I don’t want it to be perfect — I want it to look like somebody made it’. […] I feel like I’m so not a wordy person and I feel like my pottery resembles me — quiet, soft-spoken.”

The Rae Dunn decor is only sold in-store at TK Maxx in Australia, and has built a cult following with Instagram pages and Facebook groups dedicated to hunting down the items, particularly the rare, limited edition seasonal items. 

RELATED: The must-have cult baby items mums swear by

One of the dedicated Instagram pages in Australia. Source: Instagram

RELATED: Flashback Friday: Why we were all obsessed with The Body Shop in the 90s

In the US the obsession has spun out of control 

TK Maxx in America is called TJ Maxx, and former employees have been speaking up on TikTok about how far the obsession with the cult homeware brand has gone. 

TikTok user @JesCVB1 is a former TJ Maxx employee and she compared it to a cult. 

“The two people that are gonna buy these things are collectors and resellers,” she said in a video. “Collectors collect them and resellers buy a $7 mug and sell it for $40 on eBay.”

“We used to have a group of five women who would come to our store an hour before the employees even got there just so they could be the first people to get the new Rae Dunn stuff.” 

“I’ve seen customers get in fistfights over it, we’ve had employees threatened by a customer just because they gave out the last Rae Dunn item.”

She even said that they were so sought after that employees weren’t allowed to buy anything from the brand unless it was a non-seasonal item that had been on the floor for a minimum of 24 hours. 

Seems like a lot of fuss over some ceramics. Source: instagram

Ruining lives

Dedreanna Drost who blogs at Where We Summer wrote about how an addiction to these products is seriously affecting people’s lives. 

One woman told her: “I spent over $15000 in six months. It consumes my every thought… I even think of it when trying to fall asleep. Nearly cost me my marriage!”

Another person was going strong with her collection: “It started back in 2015 with a flour canister and here we are $20k and four China cabinets full later.”

One woman echoed the first quote with her own experience: “It started with a mug for me and grew into a monster that took over my time, finances, relationships… basically every minute of my day was focused on finding pieces on my ISO (in search of) list. I wasted a little over a year hunting, stressing and overspending before I broke free.”

Do you own any of those pieces? Is it a fun hobby or is it bordering on obsession for you? Tell us in the comments on Facebook.

Thank you for stopping by to visit My Local Pages and checking out this news release involving State and Federal News and updates titled “Rae Dunn: Women reveal addiction to cult TKMaxx item that is ruining lives”. This news article was presented by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local and national news services.

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