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Headlines of the Toorak Times. Stories, reviews and interviews by a host of contributors both professional and community journalists, photographers, videographers and multi media presenters.

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  • Separating fact from fiction about euthanasia in Belgium

    Separating fact from fiction about euthanasia in Belgium

    As a Belgian social scientist working on the topic of end-of-life care and decision making for the last ten years, a lot of my research has concerned the practice of euthanasia, which my country legalised in 2002 for incurable patients with severe suffering.

    Though there are issues around euthanasia in Belgium, the view from the outside is often heavily biased toward problematising our euthanasia law and practice. Let’s consider some of the most prominent concerns and whether...
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  • Trump has embraced pseudoscience and its deceptive tactics in a post-truth world

    Would he deceive you?

    As a scientist, I expect the Trump presidency to have a curious familiarity.

    Why? Because the relentless stream of falsehoods and character attacks of Trump’s campaign mainstreamed disinformation tactics that biologists, immunologists and climate scientists have come to know and despise.
    Trump has embraced pseudoscience and its accompanying conspiracy theories. He’s tweeted that climate change is a hoax and vaccines cause autism.

    ...
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  • Your wireless footprint can help police catch a thief

    Your wireless footprint can help police catch a thief

    With billions of wireless devices shipped across the globe every year, it is safe to assume that most of us carry at least one wireless gadget with us much of the time.

    The number of wearables to be shipped this year alone is expected to exceed 100 million. Interestingly, one-third of wearables next year will be rather inconspicuous, with smart contact lenses and connected jewellery also hitting the market.

    The growing demand for more traditional gadgets such as smartphones...
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  • Rising power bills signal the end of an era for Australia’s electricity grid

    Electricity price increases affect nearly everyone and are a sensitive political issue

    Electricity bills are set to rise further for households, according to a report from the Australian Energy Markets Commission (AEMC).

    The report, released this week to coincide with the December meeting of the COAG Energy Council, forecasts that electricity bills will increase by an average of A$78 by 2018 in the five eastern states and the ACT. Together these comprise the National
    ...
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  • DNA reveals a new history of the First Australians

    DNA reveals a new history of the First Australians


    In the picture above, Professor Eske Willerslev talks to Aboriginal elders in the Kalgoorlie area in southwestern Australia.

    Understanding the history of Aboriginal Australians, their origins and how their population changed over some 50,000-plus years has always been an enormous challenge.

    Many Aboriginal people have their own origin stories. Gudjugudju, a Gimuy Yidinji Elder from the rainforest people around Cairns, says:

    The story which has been passed
    ...
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  • St Kilda Festival Sunday 2015 - on the streets

    St Kilda Festival Sunday 2015 - on the streets




















    images©pationpics.com...
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  • Social media can damage body image – here’s how to counteract it

    Social media can damage body image – here’s how to counteract it

    The rise of the selfie can lead to a great deal of negative comparison and self-doubt.

    Social media is a wonderful way to connect with others, share experiences and opinions and express ideas. But it can have a dark side for body image, which requires a critical and thoughtful approach to counteract.

    People who have body image concerns feel worried, distressed and unhappy about their appearance, weight or shape. They may be concerned about being too large, too small,...
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  • A Tribute for the Spirit of Mayang Prasetyo

    A Tribute for the Spirit of Mayang Prasetyo

    Last weekend I tried my best to provide something of a eulogy for Mayang Prasetyo and was quite overwhelmed and thank the organisers and community of both the vigil and the ceremonial gathered together to hear about something of the Mayang I knew from one other human. As a representative of her many friends.

    I feel honoured to have met Mayang in her collective friend setting and to celebrate her 22nd birthday with her language school friends. Totravel a bit with Mayang. To have met...
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  • Cream of The Crate: Album #104 - Los Fronterizos: Misa Criolla

    Cream of The Crate: Album #104 - Los Fronterizos: Misa Criolla

    "Misa Criolla, (is) widely regarded as a stunning artistic achievement, combined Spanish text with indigenous instruments and rhythms." (Adam Bernstein - Washington Post)

    "A Dynamic spiritual performance of the Catholic Mass based on the rhythms & traditions of Hispanic America." (Album Cover)



    Album Cover

    This is album number one hundred and four in the series of retro-reviews of both vinyl and Cd albums in my collection. The series is called ...
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  • The drugs made me do it: can prescription side-effects be an excuse for crime?

    Last week, a man who murdered his wife while she slept and blamed his actions in part on the effects of a sleeping pill he was taking, was given an extra two years jail time – taking his sentence to 21 years.

    The killer, Brian Browning, had pleaded not guilty, relying on the evidence of a doctor who said that doxylamine (the sleeping pill) “could cause a person to do things that were otherwise completely out of character”.

    This argument was not accepted by the Victorian...
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  • Understanding the NDIS: how does the scheme view music therapy?

    Understanding the NDIS: how does the scheme view music therapy?

    It is challenging to work out how the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) works. As an an allied health professional who is also the Head of Music Therapy, I attempt to anticipate and influence policy changes, conduct research that challenges and tests new directions and teach how music therapy practice needs to evolve in response.

    Music therapy is different from music entertainment. It is a research-based practice and profession where music is used to actively support...
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