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Do vegetarians live longer? Probably, but not because they’re vegetarian

do vegetarians live longer? probably, but not because they’re vegetarian
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Vegetarians might live longer, but only because they’re more likely to be healthy in other ways, too In the past few years, you may have noticed more and more people around you turning away from meat. At dinner parties or family barbecues, on your...

Dietary guidelines don’t work. Here’s how to fix them

dietary guidelines don’t work. here’s how to fix them
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Pastry or fruit? Dietary guidelines aren’t helping us make the best food choices Dietary guidelines come under a lot of fire. They have been accused of not being based on evidence, not being environmentally sustainable and being out of touch with nutritional science. They...

When the heat is on, we need city-wide plans to keep cool

when the heat is on, we need city-wide plans to keep cool
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Cities are facing more heatwaves, but not all strategies to keep us cool are equal The recent spate of heatwaves through eastern Australia has reminded us we’re in an Australian summer. On top of another record hot year globally, and as heatwaves become more...

Why are we more likely to get cancer as we age?

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It’s estimated our cells will replicate 10,000 trillion times in our lifetime. Errors in this process can lead to cancer It’s a sobering fact that one in two Australian men and one in three Australian women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer by...

Arthritis isn’t just a condition affecting older people, it likely starts much earlier

Arthritis Lge
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No-one wakes up at 65 with arthritis. It’s a condition that starts earlier in life and perhaps goes unnoticed until it worsens later in life Arthritis is an umbrella term for over 100 conditions affecting the joints. All result in pain and...

Why older people get osteoporosis and have falls

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Older people are more likely to have falls as their balance and muscle strength usually isn’t what it was As the world’s population lives longer, the significance of osteoporosis and fractures increases. In Australia, it is estimated that 4.74 million Australians aged over 50 have...

Productivity Commission re-ignites copyright wars by recommending ‘fair use’

productivity commission re-ignites copyright wars by recommending ‘fair use’
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They’re still often more expensive overseas than in Australia The Australian Government has just released the Productivity Commission’s report into Australia’s Intellectual Property Arrangements. It’s a move that appears to have been designed to avoid some of the controversy of the copyright wars by releasing...

Sunday essay: the naked truth on nudity

sunday essay: the naked truth on nudity
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Photographer Spencer Tunick celebrates the joyful, frivolous and liberating experience of public nudity. A major exhibition opens at the Art Gallery of New South Wales this weekend – a collection of nudes from the Tate Gallery in London. I’ve been quietly intrigued by the complexities...

ANZAC DAY – Some alternate thoughts

anzac day – some alternate thoughts
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How much more of this ANZAC crap can we all stand? Commemorating a military disaster - referred to afterwards as "Churchill's folly" and causing said Churchill to be sacked from the War Cabinet - Gallipoli was an insane plan to invade Turkey. No-one quite...

Brilliant Whispers

brilliant whispers
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Brilliant Whispers By Rikimoto
I sit cross-legged; darkness surrounds me in an attempt to suffocate the brilliant whispers stemming from the candle before me.
I encircle myself with crystals and polished stones. As I prepare for meditation I close my eyes and begin a series of breaths within which I ease my mental burdens, out with the old and in with the new. It’s a slow process but one I am starting to master. As my mind clears I feel myself lifting. As my body straightens itself, correcting my posture, I cleanse myself as I release what was yet another hectic day. I feel a tingle in my fingers that soon spread all through my body, as my body fills with light I recognize this feeling as the arrival of my guides. Appearing in my mind’s eye wearing old robes like a monk, his eyes as always filled with light and love. At each meeting his appearance has changed. He has come in many forms.
I always recognize those eyes, eyes filled with light and love. Along the astral plain we walk towards each other traversing miles in moments. His lips do not move but I hear him speak his voice echoing thru my mind, "Come we must see the records." I felt as if I were flying when I realized that we were we stopped. I looked up at the barren wasteland that appeared before me; before I could speak we became engulfed by a fog that arose from nowhere. We are here, welcome to the Akashic records. Overwhelmed I took in my new surroundings. I was right in the center of the biggest library I had ever seen, "This is your library these are your books. Contained within them is a record of your past incarnations, your own history.  Please feel free to look around and read at your leisure." I picked up a book and begun to read it was a tragedy of sorts; a man hopelessly in love with a face a face that haunted him. He saw it everywhere, be it reflected in a river or a face in the crowds. Like a bloodhound he has searched everywhere, seeking an image that’s hounds him just as much. This goes on for years until the day he finds her in a tavern no less, on the day he had vowed not another drop would pass his lips until they were together and there she was in the flesh, the star of his personal torment. He makes his way to the bar trying to catch her eye as he passes no luck. He orders a drink and sits at the bar. After a few ales and a quick prayer to Bacchus and Aphrodite he finds the courage to approach he walks over and greets her with a slight bow and a how do you do. He looks deep into her eyes. Eyes filled with light and love. He is awestruck as a feeling of personal power surrounds him. But his first attempt at conversation with the woman of his dreams is cut short as one of her companions in a fit of jealous rage removes his head with a broadsword, the envy that possessed him leaving before the corpse had even hit the floor. My hero died smiling, knowing his true loves face. In another book I read of a hunter and his canine companion Mobda. They are hunting a rogue bear that his terrorized the neighboring village. Having already taken several lives the bear had changed that of the hunter by slaughtering his family before fleeing to the safety of the woods, Mobda’s pups were also lost in the carnage. Mobda and the hunter although they had shared a home there was no love lost between them now their sense of loss was shared and a thirst for bloody retribution on their lips. They hunter had played in these woods as a child. The anger he felt was the violation of the home ground. A creature, an animal from his lands, his home had just walked right into his cottage and brutally removed everything that he had held dear. For Mobda it was different. It was the scent of the beast drove her on, nothing else matters beyond this. It had been three day since the attack and the two trackers had gone beyond tired. The trail was becoming cold. They both knew if the hunt were not over soon it would never end. As they enter a ravine in an attempt to overtake their demon, a vain attempt to second-guess the devil. Suddenly a shadow cast over them. They know more than ever that the moment of revenge is upon them. They see the blind rage in the face of death that rises to their challenge. They enter the conflict head on. The hunter not expecting to enter into hand-to-hand combat so soon was forced to discard his bow and draw his dagger. He charges the bear his wife’s name now a blood curdling battle cry screaming from his lips. His dagger tore at the flesh of the beast’s thigh extracting a roar of pain. The wounded animal slashed at the hunter with razor sharp claws slicing thru his shoulder as if it were butter, forcing him back against a tree. He slid to the ground as the rampaging beast moved in for the kill. Then Mobda leapt up, going for the throat. Her fangs bit deep as she scampered up its back distracting him from the hunter whom had dragged himself to retrieve the discarded quiver and bow. Looking into Mobda s eyes as he notched and arrow he saw her eyes fill with light and love. At that moment the bear ripped Mobda from its throat snapping his back like a twig. The hunter took aim as he watched the bare dispose of Mobda’s body. He lets an arrow fly and breathes a sigh of relief as the beast roars. For the arrow had gone off target and pierced the left eyeball and entered it’s brain killing him instantly. As he falls he lands on the hunter squeezing the last breath from his body. Now all that is left is the dead man and two animal carcasses. Each book was a distant memory, each memory a lifetime and everything was so real. I was in the tavern with the woman and I surveyed the land with the hunter. These were not fairy tales works of fiction or fantasy stories this was real. I eagerly began another. This book told the story of an old man who spent the last twenty years of his life in the same armchair every day. Getting up only to feed his cats or to toil in the garden. Occasionally his mind wandered back to a distant past that seemed like yesterday. Back to the days when he went on many walks, loving and enjoying nature. In those days the local park also doubled as a speakeasy. Crackpots kooks and preacher men, they all would wait in line to stand on their soapboxes and vent their frustrations, babbling nonsense about this and that, searching for someone else to buy into their dogmatic dream. The old man could not remember what it was they had really said he had found it a tad too depressing and would pick up his pace whenever a speaker had thought they had found a sympathetic ear. One day a sizable crowd gathered. Their collective chattering alerting him to their presence in advance, he saw them all crammed together to hear the wisdom of the week so he made ready to pass thru the crowd he noticed that they all seemed to be reveling in some newfound knowledge. Their cries of boo and harass filled the air. But from where he walked he could not hear the speaker of the moment but as he hurried passed he looked up and their eyes locked, eyes filled with light and love. Then his whole world changed, he remembers a warm feeling as he lived a lifetime in that moment. He couldn’t make out her words over the crowd something about the kingdom of heaven residing within, she was whipping the crowd into a frenzy stirring them up it was as if time had slowed just enough for them to make contact. He felt that there was something he should do but he had no desire to battle the highly excited mob. He made a split second decision and chose to keep walking watching her over his shoulder as he moved on it was like his heart was demanding he stop and approach her but his feet had lost nerve and carried him away. He thought about that moment everyday how it might have changed his life his destiny. Over the years he thought about it more and more. The more he tormented himself. The more he became angry. It was not long before that anger turned to bitterness and his bitterness at the world eventually became an intense self-loathing. A self-penned failure. The only thing he had cherished was his cats and as long as he fed them he knew he had their unconditional love. He died alone; an old man with few regrets most of them stemming from lost opportunity. A tear came to my eye as the familiar scent filled my nostrils. The scent carried those memories of that house with the cats. A question formed in my mind and took to my lips I turned to my guide but he was at the other side of the gallery. Something told me that I held the answers myself. How what I had been reading was affecting me so, I was not sure the clues pointed to me dying for love in the past. What could that mean? Would it be a recurring thing? I cringed at the thought and then it struck me, of course the answers would be in the books, the lesson is the question. What have you learned I asked myself? I thought back to the first book. As I went over the tale in my head I lived it once again. I knew this time that it was I that was haunted and I felt the knowledge that she was near. I followed as my heart led me onwards, towards town, pulling me. I was led thru many streets all of them unknown to me. I wandered the back streets doubling back whenever it felt appropriate. Seeing her face everywhere, in everything and everyone but alas it was never her. She as everywhere at once, all around within my creation, She was in the clouds reflected in windows and in puddles. Everywhere but nowhere… I let the sadness overwhelm me as I give up. If only I hadn’t vowed to abstain from alcohol. I could really do with ale to ease my weary bones. He looked up and found he was at the tavern he had worked as a child, how far had he traveled to return to this place. It seemed to me that he had come full circle that’s when he looked up and saw her. Disbelief washed over him as she stood in the center of his former life. the one he had discarded to take up his foolish quest. I knew that this was the moment of understanding so I willing became the character and allowed it all to play out in my mind.
Somehow my legs carried me to the bar I fumbled with my stool. I sat down and ordered a drink, all my vows fulfilled. I offered a prayer to Bacchus and Aphrodite then I drank deeply until I felt the blood of the god’s flow through my veins giving me the courage I believe that I need. My nerves stretched to almost breaking point as I walk around the bar gingerly at first but gaining confidence with every step. Then I was face to face with the goddess of my heart in the flesh her pale skin and raven hair setting off her blood red lips. Her eyes pierced mine to the soul looking thru me she smiled. Taking in the beauty of her presence as I approached, focusing all my attention on her oblivious to all save this divine creation I had been waiting a whole lifetime to meet. All these things flying thru my mind as I hold her gaze crossing the room towards eyes filled with light and love. I bow and offer a greeting watching her eyes fill with horror then feel a cold burning sensation around my neck. Struggling for a breath breaks the spell of death and I am back in the library. I had found my love and died without even knowing her name. The thought sent a chill down my spine that scared the hell out of me. That’s when it hit me every time I was attracted to someone and the moment it came to speaking I felt as if I were about to die as I matter of fact I have a hard time introducing myself to strangers. Strangers who would not be strangers if I would just open my mouth I almost began my self-hatred routine and remember the man with the cats regrets from passed moments got him nowhere. I knew then that these past lives were effecting my present. My reactions have all been based in beliefs acquired before my current incarnation this is fucking heavy but the simplicity of it all added a certain kind of authenticity. Does understanding the question make the answers more apparent? What about the hunter who had everything taken from him his attempt at revenge over lost love led him to challenge death and come off second best. If I had died for love twice in the past would I be out of character if I ran away the next time that love reared its ugly head. I looked up and there was my guide, Have you found the answers you seek? He asked. I think so it’s all so sad, what I have read has only made everything seem pointless.  Everybody dies and I don’t understand that. Where are the happy endings? The poor marrying into royalty you know what I m talking about those fairy tales that they force feed children with morals, twists and turns but most of all happy endings. The silence emanating from him told me that maybe I just needed some more time to assimilate what I had learned. Then the fog reappeared and the library melted away as we floated along thoughts of Icarus filled my mind ‘was that wax I could smell?’ I looked below me there was a star as I focused upon it, it became clearer it was not a star but a pentagram I then saw movement it was a couple making love their ritualistic lovemaking took place upon a pentagram painted on the floor. What’s going on? I asked. Where’s the library? What’s with the satanic porno flick? You’re going too fast. I don’t understand what is happening. Am I dead? I don’t even know where I am or anything. I don’t even know your name. He responded to my tirade of questions by reaching into his robes and producing a lotus flower and I became encircled by the aroma I inhaled deeply allowing the lotus to fill my body I looked up and was in my room the candle extinguished the remains smoldering. A name bounced around in my head it was about to form on my tongue when a scream filled the air coming from street below. "Augustine, Augustine!!!" Peering thru the window I spied a person on my doorstep he yelled the name once more and then collapsed in the doorway. But by the time I got downstairs there was no one not a soul I wondered if I had imagined it. I pondered the name once more - Augustine - could my guide’s name be Augustine? ...end Chapter One...mtc