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Why you might feel anxious returning to ‘normal’ after lockdown – and how to cope

why you might feel anxious returning to ‘normal’ after lockdown – and how to cope
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  Picture: Joice Kelly/Unsplash As lockdown eases today in New South Wales, and will do so in Victoria later this month, many people will begin readjusting to “normal” life. Exiting lockdown after several months can lead to a range of feelings, from excitement and relief to...

Artificial intelligence is now part of our everyday lives – and its growing power is a double-edged sword

artificial intelligence is now part of our everyday lives – and its growing power is a double-edged sword
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      AI-generated images of “a stained glass window with an image of a blue strawberry”. OpenAI   A major new report on the state of artificial intelligence (AI) has just been released. Think of it as the AI equivalent of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report,...

Don’t wear earphones all day – your ears need to breathe

don’t wear earphones all day – your ears need to breathe
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  Picture: Shuttlestock Wireless earphone sales are booming, with Apple alone selling an estimated 100 million sets of AirPods in 2020. Being untethered from our phones or devices means we are likely to wear earphones for longer periods. As a result, you might notice your ears feeling more...

Fake news and propaganda machines: new theatre production pulls Animal Farm into the now

fake news and propaganda machines: new theatre production pulls animal farm into the now
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  Daniel J Grant/Black Swan State Theatre Company Review: Animal Farm, written by Van Badham and directed by Emily McLean, Black Swan State Theatre Company. In 1937 George Orwell witnessed a boy whipping a horse. This was a catalyst for his novel Animal Farm. Published in 1945,...

Sunday essay: a world of pain – Australian theatre in crisis

sunday essay: a world of pain – australian theatre in crisis
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  Picture: Liza Pooor/Unsplash Australia’s performing arts sector has long been recognised as an ecosystem. It is a community of artists, arts organisations and institutions, all affected by factors such as education and training, audiences, policy and revenues. It comprises commercial organisations; not-for-profit, government subsidised companies;...

Can I catch COVID from the pool? Not from the water but watch out for the change rooms and queues

can i catch covid from the pool? not from the water but watch out for the change rooms and queues
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  Picture: BIANCA DE MARCHI/AAP As NSW and Victoria speed toward target COVID vaccination rates and the associated relaxation of lockdown rules, many are considering a trip to the local pool in the near future. Already in NSW, you can swim at outdoor pools under certain conditions. So,...

Grattan on Saturday: Morrison government faces battle over integrity commission it doesn’t really want

grattan on saturday: morrison government faces battle over integrity commission it doesn’t really want
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  Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP Those critiquing the dramatic fall of Gladys Berejiklian, who resigned when the Independent Commission Against Corruption announced it was investigating the probity of her conduct, have divided into two camps. Some cast ICAC as the ogre that’s brought down a good leader,...

A federal ICAC must end the confusion between integrity questions and corruption

a federal icac must end the confusion between integrity questions and corruption
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  Picture: Bianca de Marchi/AAP Article author, Gary Sturgess, was director-general of NSW Premier Nick Greiner’s cabinet office in 1988 and the “architect” of ICAC. There has been a great deal of commentary about the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in recent days, in light...

Loved to death: Australian sandalwood is facing extinction in the wild

loved to death: australian sandalwood is facing extinction in the wild
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  Picture: Richard McLellan, Author provided The sweet, earthy fragrance of sandalwood oil has made it immensely popular in incense sticks, candles and perfumes. But its beautiful scent may also be its downfall – Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) is facing extinction in the wild. Despite this, the iconic outback...

Tired of lockdown rules? Our analysis shows most Australians have curbed mixing and helped suppress COVID

tired of lockdown rules? our analysis shows most australians have curbed mixing and helped suppress covid
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  Picture: Shutterstock Unthinkable in 2019, lockdowns have been a key public health measure to reduce the impact of COVID in Australia. However, lockdowns take a toll on the population, and there is a limit to how long people and communities can sustain these behaviours. While...