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Gay Aussie couples getting married overseas

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 02 November 2014 | 23.08

Joshua (left) and Kurt had two weddings - one in New York and one in Sydney. Source: Sunday Style

DESPITE growing support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia (a recent poll found 72 per cent of Australians are pro-marriage equality), same-sex couples still have to travel overseas to have their union legally recognised (17 countries have passed marriage equality laws).

Joshua Crouthamel, 34, and Kurt Fulepp, 29, met and fell in love in Sydney. When they married, their official ceremony was in the US, with a celebration in Sydney.

Joshua: "Kurt is one of the most positive, energetic, fun and upbeat people I have ever met. Initially, I was attracted to that energy, as well as his drive. We worked at the same media company in Sydney and a mutual friend, who worked on Kurt's team, introduced us. From then on we started noticing each other at company events and parties and things like that.

On our first date — which I didn't exactly intend to be a date — I invited him to Jazz in the Domain. I'd neglected to mention I was going with a bunch of people, so I showed up with four of my friends and he showed up ready for an intimate date. Still, we had a lovely night and walked back via a pub afterwards and had a beer with everyone.

People started to trickle away until it was just the two of us and we chatted for hours. Not long after, in March 2011, we decided we didn't want to see other people. But I had just signed up to live aboard a world cruise ship, so we didn't have long before I packed up and left for six months. Kurt said, 'I want to make this work, so I'll come and meet you every month along the way.' I had no idea what the job would be like, but I knew that every few weeks, when I would pull into a port, Kurt would be flying in and we'd have our time together. I realised I wanted to be with Kurt forever when I came into Cape Town harbour and saw him standing there, having flown halfway around the world and waited for hours for my boat to arrive. My experience on the ship was very stressful and displacing, so finally seeing this bit of home somewhere far, far away and knowing that piece of home can be wherever you are together, I was sold.

We moved to Manhattan a few months after I returned from the cruise. Kurt, who grew up on Sydney's North Shore, had always wanted to live in New York, and I was born in Philadelphia and grew up on the east coast of the US.

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit New York. I was in London on a work trip, so when it happened Kurt was stuck in our apartment on the 10th floor, on his own. There was no power, so it was dark and there was no fridge, no water and you had to take the stairs. You had to fill a bucket with water to flush the toilet. I couldn't really contact him via phone, so I was just sending emails now and then. Because Kurt was so many floors up, he'd plan his day around leaving the apartment once a day to go out and walk uptown, where there was power to go to the gym, have a shower and use wi-fi.

I finally managed to get a flight home on Halloween. When I walked through the door, I saw that Kurt had set up a picnic on the very same rug I had brought to our first date. He had lit heaps of candles and bought my favourite wine. I was so overwhelmed, I asked him to marry me. I said something along the lines of: 'I haven't felt as far away from you, physically, as in this last week, even when I was much further away from you geographically, and I never want to be that far away again. I think we should be together forever.'

He said, 'Absolutely, yes! Give me one second.' Then he ran and brought out a little blue Tiffany's box, which had a ring in it that he was going to give me on my birthday the following week.

We spent some time hemming and hawing about a wedding date. We decided on the American Memorial Day long weekend in May. My idea, because of the date line, was to time it for sunrise in Sydney and sunset in New York. Then it would be on the same date and the same anniversary, but Kurt was like, 'Anything could go wrong, it could be a disaster.' I reconsidered and we decided to do both weddings on the same long weekend, instead.

Because Sydney is so important to me and, other than New York, the only place I feel at home, it needed to be part of the celebration. It was important to me to do something there and just really unfortunate that it couldn't be a legally binding ceremony [in Australia]. Having only 30 guests in Sydney versus 120 guests in New York was entirely about that. It's a loss for the city, too — in New York $US259 million flowed into the city the first year that gay marriage was legalised [same-sex marriage became legal in New York on July 24, 2011], through tourism and government fees.

We had our Sydney ceremony at The Winery on Thursday May 22, this year, and then the New York ceremony at the Hotel Americano, New York, on the Sunday. One difference I noticed when we were planning both events was that in Sydney we were planning a gay wedding and in New York, it was just a wedding.

I think attending the ceremony was helpful for any old aunties and uncles who were a bit reluctant about the concept.

Afterwards we received the loveliest notes saying things like: 'You've really opened my mind and heart, and I obviously always wished you the best, but it was so special to see the two of you together.'

For me, hearing our fathers' speeches was the highlight of the wedding weekend. It was really humbling and special. It was so sweet to listen to these otherwise superblokey guys, who were surrounded all of a sudden by a bunch of gays having a party! They both shared how much they love their families and how much they love their sons, so that was really special."

Josh and Kurt seal the deal in New York. Source: Sunday Style

Kurt: "Josh has a real presence in a room, in a great way. He's bubbly, friendly, always engaging and excited to talk to people. You meet Josh for a minute and you think you've known him for years. He has an openness that was an immediate draw to me. Our engagement was one of those pinch-me moments. It felt so right but it also felt like such a surprise. I think the fact that something could surprise me but could feel so perfect at the same time was really what made me know it was the right thing. And whether it was that night, or six months later, that was the path we were on.

Spending a lot of time together dating; Josh going away on a cruise ship; travelling the world; meeting up in locations; going through hello, goodbye, hello, goodbye … we had amazing fun, we were happy, we were sad, we lived a lot in a short time. Then there was moving to a new country and moving in together. I think our relationship progressed in a way that it just felt like marrying was the natural next step.

Even though it was actually more important to Josh to have a Sydney ceremony, it's still very disheartening to think we couldn't legally marry in Australia. We are so far behind when it comes to gay rights. It's very sad to think our country is going to be on the wrong side of history in that way. The most touching moment of the wedding weekend for me was my brother Adam's speech in Sydney. He couldn't make it to the second ceremony, and Dad said beautiful words in New York, but hearing my little brother speak — and, you know, he's a footy player, works in rugby; he's a real boy boy. The way he stood up and spoke was really meaningful.

I'm not like Josh, who wears his heart on his sleeve, so I didn't cry during the ceremony in Sydney. I did in New York, however, because Josh altered some of his vows and that surprised me. I'm a business, strategy, product guy and Josh is an incredible wordsmith. We had workshopped our vows a bit together and I don't know how he was able to take his to another level, but he did, and that was the moment I cried.

I've always been incredibly lucky that my family and friends have always been very supportive. I came out when I was 16. I had a very open family and the love they showed me the moment I built up that courage to come out didn't change. In fact, it probably doubled. From my younger brother to my parents, I've always had a very positive upbringing, and to see my whole family come together and celebrate was really special. My younger brother looks at Josh like he's his older brother. My parents and Josh's parents are close friends, so the wedding was really that moment of two families coming together. It's the start of one big family."

Follow Alice on Twitter @alicewasley. Download the Sunday Style app here.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Heigl admits she ‘made mistakes’

Only human ... Katherine Heigl admits she's been careless at times in the ways she's treated people. Picture: Supplied Source: News Limited

ACTOR Katherine Heigl has addressed rumours she is rude, admitting she has 'made mistakes' in her dealings with others.

Heigl's reputation for being difficult was confirmed recently when Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes outlined her "no a--holes policy" on set to the Hollywood Reporter. "There are no Heigls in this situation …" she said. "I don't put up with bulls--t or nasty people. I don't have time for it."

Five times Katherine Heigl was 'difficult'

While promoting her new series, State of Affairs, Heigl was asked by a fan if the rumours about her rudeness were true. "Yeah I've heard those too …. honestly I don't think I am … nothing makes me more uncomfortable than confrontation or hurting someones feelings and I would never, ever, actively do so on purpose," she explained. "Of course just like any human being I've made mistakes and unwittingly or carelessly spoken or acted but I always try to make any wrong right."

Heigl addresses fans' questions via a Facebook question-and-answer session. Picture: Facebook Source: Supplied

Katherine Heigl in Grey's Anatomy. Source: News Limited

She continued, "That doesn't mean I won't stand up for myself by drawing boundaries and asking to be treated kindly and respectfully but I don't do that with any rude or unkind intentions just with the same strength and honestly I think every one of us is entitled to."

The exchange took place on Facebook.

Grown-up role ... Katherine Heigl as Charleston 'Charlie' Tucker, in 'State of Affairs'. Picture: Michael Parmelee/NBC Source: Supplied

In the new series, Heigl plays a CIA officer, Charlie Tucker, whose role it is to brief the US president each day. She also used to be engaged to the son of President Constance Payton (played by Alfre Woodard), E Online reports, and finds herself on a very personal mission. "I am going to find every last person who had anything to do with the death of my fiance and your son, and I'm going to end every single one of their lives," her character tells the president.

The role marks a professional turning-point for Heigl at a time in her life when she feels ready to assume the challenge. "Something about her feels like an adult to me in ways that other roles haven't. I don't know if it's because I feel like an adult," she says. "I feel like I'm finally like a legitimate grown-up with two children and a husband of almost seven years. I feel like a grown-up who has taken on a grown-up role."


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘I bought no clothes for a year’

Sarah Lazarovic wrote a book called 'A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy', about how she went a year without buying any new clothes or accessories. Source: Supplied

COULD you go a year without buying any new clothes or accessories?

Sarah Lazarovic did, and boy, do we take our hats off to her.

The 35-year-old Canadian woman banned herself from buying anything new in 2012 because she was spending "too much time, money and energy shopping." Ms Lazarovic says she was "mindlessly buying stuff" and wanted to fight back against the commercialism that tempted her to buy things she didn't need.

She's written a book of essays and illustrations about her experience, called 'A Bunch Of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy'. Each essay examines a different aspect of our consumer life and she's done a painting of all the things she wanted, but could not buy.

News.com.au asked Sarah how on earth she managed to do it.

A page from Sarah's book, 'A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy'. Source: Supplied

After a self-imposed shopping ban in 2006, Sarah found her mindless shopping habits started creeping up again, but this time in a different form.

"I'd always been a good internet shopper, but somehow the sophistication and sudden ubiquity of internet shopping made it so that I was mindlessly buying stuff. I'd be doing work on my computer and then notice that I was magically on a shopping site, researching sequined jumpsuits. I didn't realise I'd become a prolific internet shopper.

"So I decided to not shop again. I wasn't so much about the money as it was about the mindlessness, time wasting and gluttonous aspect of it. I also didn't like the idea that I was such an easy target. The internet knew when I'd checked out a dress and would haunt me with ads of that dress for weeks thereafter. I needed to fight back."

A page from Sarah's book, 'A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy'. Source: Supplied

Sarah says the most surprising thing about the whole experiment was that actually, isn't wasn't really that hard. (And no, she didn't cave and buy anything. At all.)

"You just stop caring about acquisition, about newness. You just wear what you have, make it work, and look good. It's fun and freeing.

"It's not actually hard to not buy 99% of the stuff that you think you want. It's really not about the stuff and the ban so much as it is about the mental energy one has to exert to not buy. That's the taxing part. Mindlessly buying is easy. Mindfully abstaining is harder.

Sarah says we're all suffering from "stuff fatigue", which is why her family has a "no gifts" policy.

"No one wants or needs any more crap, and people are often happier to receive a small but thoughtful comestible than something they'll never ever use.

"I allow myself to shop now. It's taken me years but I'm now a much more thoughtful, deliberate, infrequent shopper. I pretty much never buy anything new. It also helps that I really don't need anything and could probably wear the clothes I have now til I'm 90, by which time I expect rompers will be in style again anyway."

And after the ban ended, what was the first thing she bought?

"A new pair of running sneakers! Mine had a huge hole in the toe that I'd been running with for six months, which may have explained my wonky stride."

A page from Sarah's book, 'A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy'. Source: Supplied

So what are Sarah's tips for revamping your wardrobe without buying anything new?

1. Refresh with accessories

"I advocate just playing with what you have, remembering to throw on an accessory or two if you feel the outfit needs freshening."

2. Get your stuff mended

"I'd wager that everyone has at least a handful of pieces they don't wear because they need to be mended, tweaked, rejigged."

3. Get things tailored

"I had a pile of once-loved clothes that just needed a bit of TLC. I took them to my tailor and came out with a whole new wardrobe."

Read more about Sarah here.

Could go you a year without shopping? Tweet us @newscomauhq | @beck_sullivan


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

The big problem with TV right now

The NCIS team investigates the crash of an armoured transport bus carrying Naval brig detainees after four prisoners escape, including a black market broker who is one of the country's biggest national security threats. Courtesy: NCIS: New Orleans

AUSSIE TV networks are in a slump with hardly any shows getting above the crucial one million viewers in recent weeks.

Channels Seven, Nine and Ten are struggling to find any hit shows after the finales of The X Factor, The Block: Glasshouse and The Bachelor.

Instead, people are abandoning the main channels and flocking to repeats of A Touch of Frost, New Tricks and The Big Bang Theory on the digital channels.

Nothing looks likely to stop the rot even though there is more than a month left to go until the end of the ratings year.

It can't come quick enough.

Daylight saving is part of the reason for the low viewing levels, as people choose to use the extra hour of daylight for activities that don't involving sitting on the couch. But that can't shoulder all the blame.

Not interested ... Shows such as Party Tricks on Ten haven't been the ratings winners networks had hoped for. Source: Supplied

The bottom line is that viewers simply aren't interested in many of the shows being served up by the Aussie TV networks.

"The ratings are in a slump and there is nothing on the horizon to rescue it," Fusion Strategy's Steve Allen says.

GETTING OLD: Why Reality TV is dying

INEXPLICABLE: Why people can't enough of Big Bang

Ten's big hope was Party Tricks but the Asher Keddie/Rodger Corser political dramedy has been a huge ratings disappointment despite strong reviews.

Party Tricks debuted to 710,000 viewers across the five capital cities on October 6. A week later it crashed to 476,000.

Seven had high hopes for The Big Adventure but the Survivor-like reality show debuted to 945,000 viewers and quickly slipped to between 600,000 and 700,000.

Game of survivor ... Jason Dundas hosts new reality game show The Big Adventure. Source: Supplied

New US dramas including Gotham (626,000), Scorpion (608,000), Madam Secretary (525,000), and NCIS: New Orleans (483,000) are all underperforming.

"Last year Seven got lucky with high ratings for the fast-tracked launches of The Blacklist and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD," Mr Allen says. "There is nothing like that this year from anyone."

Big Brother (600,000-plus), Recipe to Riches (575,000) and Beauty and the Geek Australia (593,000) are local shows that have failed to ignite the ratings.

Many disenchanted viewers are happier to watch repeats of A Touch of Frost (362,000), The Big Bang Theory (331,000), New Tricks (257,000) and Escape to the Country (252,000) on digital channels such as 7Two and GO!

"There is a willingness by viewers to go to the digital channel offerings if the main channel fare doesn't whet their appetite," Mr Allen says.

Not catching on ... Viewers seem content to watch re-runs of old favourites than take up new shows such as Gotham. Source: Channel 9

The only programs to crack the magic million are The Big Bang Theory (1.127 million) and The Force (1.125 million).

Seven's Dancing with the Stars, Home and Away, Border Security and The Blacklist are hovering about 900,000.

"Networks have traditionally wound down programming in the last four to eight weeks of the year but this year, especially, viewers are switching off in droves," Mr Allen says.

Underperforming ... Madam Secretary draws about 525,000 viewers a week, far below expectations. Source: Channel 10

NATIONAL RATINGS, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26

1 60 MINUTES 1,056,000

2 SEVEN NEWS 1,024,000

3 NINE NEWS 980,000

4 THE EMBASSY 882,000

5 ABC NEWS 859,000

Total: 4.8m

NATIONAL RATINGS, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12

1 THE BLOCK - WINNER ANNOUNCED 2,764,000

2 THE BLOCK - AUCTION 2,327,000

3 SEVEN NEWS 1,990,000

4 THE BLOCK -GRAND FINAL 1,796,000

5 SEVEN'S V8 SUPERCARS THE WRAP-UP 1,781,000

Total: 10.2m

NATIONAL RATINGS, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

1 THE BLOCK 1,664,000

2 SEVEN NEWS 1,225,000

3 NINE NEWS SUNDAY 1,220,000

4 60 MINUTES 1,211,000

5 THE X FACTOR 1,131,000

Total: 6.5m


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Depraved family sex ring revealed

Dustin Kent, uncle to Brittney Wood, pleads guilty to rape and sodomy

Suicide ... Donnie Holland was found shot in the back of the head the day he was to be questioned by authorities about sex abuse. Source: AP

BY most accounts, 19-year-old Brittney Wood was with uncle Donnie Holland the night of May 30, 2012, the last time anyone saw her.

Holland — who was under investigation for horrific sex crimes at the time — died from a bullet within days in what was ruled a suicide.

The investigation that followed has publicly unravelled what authorities describe as a dark, twisted tale of perversion in the working-class neighbourhoods and piney backwoods of coastal Alabama.

Eight of Woods' adult relatives and three family friends have been charged with dozens of felonies in two counties as the alleged members of an incestuous ring that authorities say shared children for group sex. Holland was the leader, prosecutors say, of what has been described as the largest sex ring ever uncovered in Alabama. Wood was a victim and likely key witness.

Missing, presumed dead ... A flyer describing missing teenager Brittney Wood (AP Photo/Jay Reeves) Source: AP

"Brittney could have been huge," said prosecutor Teresa Heinz. "She could have corroborated so many things."

Wood is presumed dead, but authorities haven't found a trace of her and no one is charged in her disappearance.

Even without Wood to testify, two of her uncles and an older brother already have pleaded guilty to sex charges, and jurors this month convicted a friend of Holland's of multiple sex charges in the first trial. Others — including the missing teen's mother, Chessie Wood, and two aunts — await trial.

Chessie Wood denies committing any crime, but says some of her closest relatives are guilty of abusing children, including of abusing her daughter.

"There are innocent people in this and there are guilty people in this," Wood, 39, said in an interview. "I don't know how the judicial system is going to figure it all out because they're not the sharpest tools in the shed."

Chessie Wood, accused of having sex with a young female relative, said she had no idea what was going on in the family until after her daughter's disappearance.

"The No. 1 thing here is to find Brittney. The No. 2 thing is to get all these sick (people) off the streets," she said.

Authorities are making plea-bargain offers and getting ready for more trials, but questions persist. Perhaps most troubling, why didn't child welfare workers pursue charges following what prosecutors describe as multiple complaints about sexual abuse within the family going back at least six years?

"You'd be surprised how many of them had prior allegations. Nothing happened," said Heinz, an assistant district attorney in Baldwin County. "You have to wonder what wouldn't have happened to these children if something had been done. And Brittney might still be alive."

The case is so big officials don't know exactly how many kids inside and outside the family might have been victimised; estimates range from 11 to 16 children who were as young as three or four when they were first molested or made to watch adult relatives during drug-fuelled orgies. The children of the suspects have all been placed in foster care or with relatives who weren't involved in the crimes.

Brittney Wood isn't the alleged victim in any of the cases filed so far; each involved other young people, mostly within her family. But the investigation mushroomed only after she was reported missing and her uncle Donnie had died.

Authorities believe group sex and child sexual abuse went on for three generations in two families that merged when Holland married Wendy Wood, Chessie Woods' sister.

"Donnie was the manager. He'd say, 'I've got this child and this adult, come on over,'" said Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Nicki Patterson.

'We didn't even realise she was missing until they found him shot' ... Brittney Wood's stepmother (AP Photo/Jay Reeves) Source: AP

Brittney Wood, meanwhile, led a life that was troubled long before folks on the Alabama coast came to know her smile because of missing persons flyers posted in store windows and shared on social media.

The single mother of a daughter born when she was 17, Wood was molested as a child by a step-grandfather who went to prison for the crime, said Patterson. Before she went missing, Patterson said, Wood was using drugs and had a gun for personal protection while bouncing between relatives' homes; others often cared for her daughter.

A relative reported Holland for allegedly abusing one of the family girls in February 2012, authorities said, and word spread through the clan. Private Facebook messages provided to The Associated Press by Stephanie Hanke, Brittney Wood's stepmother, show that a female relative informed Wood about being raped by three male relatives on May 27, just three days before Wood vanished.

The night of the disappearance, mobile phone records and witness accounts indicate Wood left west Mobile with Holland and crossed Mobile Bay into Baldwin County, where Holland was found two days later inside his SUV by his wife and one of her friends. He had been shot in the rear of his head behind an ear, which authorities considered an odd spot for a self-inflicted wound.

Holland was scheduled to be questioned about allegations of sexual abuse the very day he was found in the car on an isolated dirt road.

Wood's mobile phone battery was in the vehicle with Holland, but there was no sign of the teen. Her gun was there as well, it was the only gun in the car. Holland never regained consciousness and died several days later.

After Holland died, relatives and police wondered about Wood.

Suicide ... Donnie Holland was found shot in the back of the head the day he was to be questioned by authorities about sex abuse. Source: AP

"We didn't even realise she was missing until after they found him shot," said Hanke.

Searches for the teen began and the sex abuse probe picked up, too. Two of Woods's uncles, Dustin Kent and Scott Wood, were arrested within three weeks and later pleaded guilty to rape and sodomy. Aunts and family friends were eventually charged.

This month, family friend Billy Brownlee, 50, was convicted in Baldwin County on charges of sexually abusing a girl in the Holland family when she was about 12. Brownlee claimed Donnie Holland forced him into the acts against his will, but jurors needed only 20 minutes to return a guilty verdict.

Donnie Holland's 35-year-old wife, Wendy, is set for trial in early December in what could be a key prosecution. Court records show she has pleaded not guilty, and Heinz said she shows no interest in a plea agreement.

Still, authorities wonder how child sexual abuse could go on for years between so many people without anyone being charged until 2012. One girl accused an uncle of sexually abusing her as early as 2008, Heinz said, but welfare workers found the complaint unsubstantiated.

"You look at these reports and wonder, 'Why? How did it not go anywhere?'" said Heinz.

Barry Spear, a spokesman for the Alabama Department of Human Resources, said privacy statutes prevent the agency from commenting.

"I can't even say whether we're had any involvement with this family at all," Spear said.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

The great Australian mortgage risk

Proper balance ... paying extra off your home loan is smart, but many Australians run the risk of leaving themselves short in retirement as a result. Source: Getty Images

GENERATION X is too focused on paying off their home loans, which could impact them come retirement, experts warn.

Shaving down property debt is the number one priority for Australians aged 35-49, new research released by REST Industry Super today shows.

But that diligent focus on reducing mortgage balances could impact life after work, some experts believe.

Diligent payers ... generation X are too focused on paying off their mortgages and it will end up costing them in retirement, experts say. Source: News Corp Australia

About 71 per cent say paying off the home loan is the number one priority and only one in three say long-term savings is their top financial goal.

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Reserve Bank of Australia figures show Australians are an average of more than two years ahead on their mortgage repayments as they take advantage of historically-low interest rates.

REST Industry Super's chief executive officer Damian Hill said while culling home loan debt was a good financial plan of attack, many would end up relying solely on compulsory employer contributions which currently sit at 9.5 per cent and would rise to 12 per cent by 2025.

Interest rates ... the Reserve Bank meets tomorrow to decide whether to increase, decrease or leave on hold the official cast rate. Source: News Limited

"In one sense you can understand people are so focused on paying off their mortgage, it's a big debt,'' he said.

"It's never too early to focus on super ... the mortgage shouldn't be the focus of the long-term savings because of the other opportunities.''

He said it can be too late to try and tip money into super in a person's final working years because of the power of compound interest.

HOME DEPOSIT: How this super idea could move you out of Struggle Street and into a home

The RBA is set to meet tomorrow to make their November rate announcement, and it's strongly predicted the cash rate will stay on hold at 2.5 per cent — where it has sat since August last year.

Consumer finance expert Lisa Montgomery said splitting a financial plan of attack between paying off a mortgage and tipping money into super was a good idea.

Sound advice ... consumer finance expert Lisa Montgomery says there needs to be balance between paying off a mortgage and topping up of super. Source: Supplied

"Paying less interest on your mortgage now when rates are low is a good plus right now, the less interest you pay is vital,'' she said.

"I think there needs to be a balance — pay off as much of your mortgage as you can while also planning for the future."

The research also showed 30 per cent of generation X women have no savings at the end of the month compared to just 23 per cent of men.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Wristband zaps bad habits

Electric shock ... the 'Pavlok' wristband helps people break bad habits. Picture: Indiegogo/Pavlok Source: Supplied

AN AMERICAN firm has developed a wristband to help people break bad habits by administering an electric shock.

The user simply picks a bad habit he or she wishes to tackle and chooses the punishment the wristband will mete out, which can range anywhere from a vibration or sound reminder, to making the wearer pay a fee or sending a mild electric shock of up to 300 volts.

It is even possible to block the user from being able to use his or her mobile phone.

If on the other hand, the wearer gets up early as planned, goes to the gym or completes the hours necessary to complete an academic paper, then a financial reward is handed out or a friend is notified.

The wristband has been developed by a Boston company and contains a Bluetooth radio that links to a smartphone app that can, for example, tell if the user has turned up on time to the office for work.

The device is called "Pavlok" and takes its name from Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, who is famous for his 1918 study of classical conditioning, whereby he rang a bell every time he gave food to a dog.

Pavlok claims the device will help change behaviour and allow users to unlock their potential and seamlessly transform into the person they want to become.

The device is due to come on the market next April and the company states that it has already received around a thousand pre-orders.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Kim Kardashian has a rare fashion fail

Fashion fail ... Kanye West with Kim Kardashian in an ill-fitting teal frock at the LACMA Art + Film Gala. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

SHE'S normally the picture of fashion perfection but reality television star Kim Kardashian had a rare frock fail at one of Hollywood's glammest nights.

Stars of the big screen flocked to the LACMA Art + Film Gala last night, honouring film megastar Quentin Tarantino and conceptual artist Barbara Kruger.

Critics' scorn ... some online have described Kim Kardashian's choice of gown for the LACMA's as an ill-fitting fashion fail. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

Kardashian's red carpet choices normally flatter her killer curves, but the teal Cushnie et Ochs number she chose on Saturday did not.

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It has been described online as ill-fitting, too tight across her midsection and unshapely around the bust.

Star couple ... Kanye West and Kim Kardashian were among a host of stars to attend the LACMA Art + Film Gala on Saturday. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

Rare miss ... TV star and style maven Kim Kardashian is normally a master of dressing to flaunt her killer curves. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

Those disastrous attributes, coupled with an awkwardly placed leg slit, and the gown made for one unflattering disaster.

But on the plus side, the star's hubby Kanye West looked smitten and the couple were a picture of romantic bliss.

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And it could've been worse — at least she didn't come dressed in a chocolate wrapper, like actress China Chow.

Interesting choice ... Jamie Foxx with China Chow, who wore a gown inspired by a chocolate wrapper. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Kardashian and West joined a host of other big name personalities at the Los Angeles bash, hosted by premiere fashion house Gucci.

Among those in attendance was Jennifer Lopez, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Demi Moore and Selena Gomez.

J-Whoa ... Jennifer Lopez demonstrates how to properly combine killer curves and the colour teal.  Source: AFP

Style queen ... actress Demi Moore arrives at the LACMA Art + Film Gala. Picture: AP Source: AP

Silver sleek ... singer Selena Gomez dazzles in a divine silver number. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

Gal pals ... Kirsten Dunst and Amy Adams paint a pretty picture together. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Flawless beauty ... actress Kate Hudson among the best dressed at the LACMA Art + Film Gala in Los Angeles. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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