LIFESTYLE

After a long struggle, the Uniting Church becomes the first to offer same-sex marriage

For some, this recent decision is a source of celebration and perhaps even symbolic, finally, of full equality in the church for gay and lesbian members. Wes Mountain From Friday, September 21, the Uniting Church (UCA) will be the first of the three major Australian Christian denominations to endorse same-sex marriage, and thus the first to offer gay and lesbian Christians the...

Daily low-dose aspirin doesn’t reduce heart-attack risk in healthy people

For decades, doctors have been prescribing low-dose aspirin for healthy people over the age of 70. from shutterstock.com Taking low-dose aspirin daily doesn’t preserve good health or delay the onset of disability or dementia in healthy older people. This was one finding from our seven-year study that included more than 19,000 older people from Australia and the US. We also found...

Outrage over schoolgirl refusing to stand for anthem shows rise of aggressive nationalism

The brouhaha over a nine-year-old girl refusing to stand for the national anthem appears to confirm that tolerance is on the wane and nationalist sentiment on the rise in Australia. Shutterstock Last week, nine-year-old Queensland school girl, Harper Nielsen, was threatened with suspension by her school for refusing to sing the Australian national anthem. The heated and at time preposterous reaction to the...

Needless procedures: knee arthroscopy is one of the most common but least effective surgeries

Knee arthroscopy requires admission to hospital and an anaesthetic. It carries some risk of harm such as infection or further damage in the joint. from shutterstock.com More than 70,000 knee arthroscopies were performed in 2011 in Australia and, though rates of the surgical procedure are now falling, it still remains one of the most common surgical procedures. The word arthroscopy means to look...

Where Australian states are up to in decriminalising abortion

Campaigns continue to have abortion decriminalised across Australia. Peter Rae/AAP Abortion is common, safe, and the only criminalised listed medical procedure in Australia due to an archaic, flawed piece of legislation inherited from Victorian England. Despite campaigns to decriminalise abortion, progress has been slow, and patchy across states. Here’s where each state is up to. The Australian Capital Territory The ACT is the only Australian jurisdiction to...

Health Check: what happens when you hold in a fart?

Better out than in.  Sementsova Lesia/Shutterstock Ever been in a situation where passing wind is going to be hugely embarrassing and you’ve had to hold in a fart? Let’s face it – we all have. Trying to hold it in leads to a build up of pressure and major discomfort. A build up of intestinal gas can trigger abdominal distension, with some...

Melbourne or Sydney? This is how our two biggest cities compare for liveability

  Melbourne and Sydney have similar access to public transport overall, but this and other liveability indicators vary greatly across the cities. Julian Smith/AAP   The question of which city is the most liveable is an annual hot topic. Competition is fierce, especially between Melbourne and Sydney. We have previously highlighted the limitations of The Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Index. In this article...

Five types of food to increase your psychological well-being

Foods that contain omega 3 have been found to increase brain function. from www.shutterstock.com We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of...

Probiotics: a first look at what’s going on in the gut

Picture courtesy T. L. Furrer/Shutterstock.com For the first time researchers have taken samples from inside people’s guts to find out how much probiotics change the composition of microbes and the chemical compounds they produce. And they found that the effect of probiotics depends on the bacteria that are already present in the gut. Probiotics are live microbes – mostly bacteria – that when eaten...

50 shades whiter: what you should know about teeth whitening

At-home whitening kits can damage tooth enamel.  from www.shutterstock.com The effect of teeth whitening was discovered quite by accident. In the past, dentists tried to treat gum disease with mouth rinses containing hydrogen peroxide. They noticed teeth became whiter over time following use of these mouthwashes. In modern-day Australia, teeth whitening is offered by dentists, other dental practitioners and by cosmetic...

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